How Do Braces Straighten My Teeth?

The process by which teeth move is complicated, and many books have been written on the subject. However, there are a few general principles that will help you understand what is happening or will happen in your mouth. Braces apply a very small, gentle push against crooked teeth which “wakes up” the cells in your jaw bones to make the roots around your crooked teeth start to straighten out.

pencil.chewingThere are two very important cells in your body that are mostly responsible for remodeling bone – an osteoclast and an osteoblast. The osteoclast is like a pac-man cell that eats bone. The osteoblast does the opposite – it builds bone. Together they work as a team to remodel the bone around the roots of your teeth. This is how an orthodontist moves your teeth from being crooked to being straight.

By the way, teeth don’t know what is pushing against them. The “pushing” can be done by braces, Invisalign®, chewing on a pen, sucking on your thumb, or biting your nails. Things like braces and Invisalign® tend to push the teeth in the direction we want them to go (straight) while things like thumb sucking or constantly chewing on a pen tend to make teeth more crooked.

Now that you know more about how teeth move, you can focus on doing those things that will make your teeth straight and beautiful and avoid doing the things that will make them crooked. Check our our link explaining more about orthodontic treatment and how teeth move.