Orthodontic braces exert constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Your braces, therefore, are working every moment throughout your journey. The two main components of your braces are the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the main archwire that connects them. The bracket is a piece of mechanically milled and smoothed metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is bent to create the ideal archshape. The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire returns to its original shape, the resulting pressure that is applied to the teeth results in tooth movement.
Tooth movement occurs via a complex system of cellular interactions. A tooth moves as the application of light orthodontic forces results in bone resorption on the pressure side of the root of the tooth being moved. On the opposite side of the root, or tension side, bone remodeling and deposition results in new bone formation. This process of resorption of bone on the one side and deposition on the other describes how teeth are repositioned orthodontically to reach their desired location.