Although your orthodontist and dentist have probably warned you not to, you've probably touched and pushed on your teeth a few times to see what would happen. Most likely nothing occurred, as teeth are sturdy and seem to be held tightly in place under the gums. So how exactly do a group of teeth go from crooked to straight over the course of someone's orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic braces work by using brackets that are glued onto your teeth. Your orthodontist will fit wires in them and hold everything in place with small elastic bands. Over time, these wires put pressure on your teeth, which will move and loosen them from the gum line. Bone then grows in to support the tooth in its new position.
Over the course of your treatment, your orthodontist will tighten and readjust your braces to keep this process going. As you may know, straightening teeth is not a fast process. If teeth are moved out of place too quickly, a patient could lose them.
After your orthodontic braces have been removed, it's possible that your teeth will keep moving and possibly move back into their old positions. This is known as relapse. To prevent this from happening, you will need to wear a retainer for as long as your orthodontist recommends. The purpose of a retainer is to keep the teeth in their new position while the surrounding bone continues to strengthen to the point at which it can support the teeth on its own.
If you're interested in learning more about orthodontic treatment, don't hesitate to get in touch with an orthodontist in New York City today.