How many of you have sat around on a Friday or Saturday night and wondered the great mystery of what moves teeth? Well never fear, Tuthmvr Orthodontics is here to shed some light on the Mystery. If you have ever been a patient or worked in the office you may have heard Dr. Sternstein ask the staff (especially the newly hired staff) “what moves teeth?”. The answer of course is… Light Continuous Force. Ok, so now you are thinking what does that mean? Teeth are attached to the bone with ligaments that are kind of like little rubber bands, which allow your teeth some movement when you eat and chew. These ligaments have a little space between the tooth and the bone(periodontal ligament space). When you apply the right amount of pressure (force) to one side of the tooth it stretches the ligaments on one side and squishes them on the other side. This causes the bone to move on one side of the tooth, while adding it to the other side (basically allowing the tooth to move through the bone).
We use braces to allow us to deliver these forces to the teeth. With the braces we use many different techniques to achieve light, continuous force. Often we will ask patients to wear rubber bands. When patients are asked to wear elastics, the braces are set up to deliver light continuous force to the teeth with the added help of the rubber bands. If patients are not compliant, the affect can be the opposite and treatment time could be extended. Believe it or not some patients do not wear their rubber bands and try to “cram” (double up) their wear a day or two before their appointment to make up for missed time. However, this isn’t the best solution because you have to be careful if you apply too much pressure (force) the movement will stop.
So now you know the orthodontist secret to moving teeth….. sshh don’t tell anyone!!