What Are Braces and How Do They Work?

Boca Dental and Braces are used to straighten crooked teeth and improve the appearance of your smile. They can also help you chew more comfortably and prevent future dental problems, such as gum disease or tooth decay.

During treatment, you will visit your dentist or orthodontist regularly. During your evaluation, they will take x-rays of your mouth and teeth, make impressions and other records, and discuss a treatment plan.

If you’ve ever read a textbook or newspaper, odds are that you’ve come across brackets. Brackets are punctuation marks that look like square-shaped parentheses. These unique symbols are used to group expressions and numbers and help us understand how they relate. Mastering brackets is like acquiring a math superpower – it enables you to make sense of complicated equations and problems and dissect them into their parts.

In orthodontics, brackets hold and support the archwire, which places consistent pressure on your teeth to move them in the direction the doctor wants them to go. The brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth and are often made of ceramic or porcelain for aesthetic reasons. They may be smooth or textured, with hooks or not, and can be angled or straight. There are even “self-ligating” brackets, with a little door that opens and closes to hold the archwire.

While there are many different types of brackets, they all work the same way. The archwire goes through the brackets and is held by the ligatures. Ligatures are small rubber bands that connect one bracket to another. They come in various colors and are changed during every appointment, although patients can save their old ones for a special treat! Some brackets also have hooks that can be used for elastic rubber bands, bite ramps, coil springs, or palatal expanders.

Some common reasons for broken brackets include eating hard or sticky foods (including ice!) or biting down on pen caps, fingernails, or other objects. These habits are very hard to break, but if your bracket becomes loose or breaks, call us and schedule an appointment immediately. This is important because it can disrupt the balance of your treatment plan, cause unwanted movements, and delay tooth movement.

It’s also very important to follow our instructions regarding what you can and cannot eat with your braces on, as this is the biggest factor in keeping them intact. Eating too many crunchy or sticky foods can break a bracket, and chewing on hard objects can damage the edges of the brackets and make it difficult for the archwire to apply proper pressure.

Misaligned teeth, or malocclusion, are more than a cosmetic concern. Gaps in the teeth, overcrowding, and other malocclusion can make eating and speaking difficult and increase one’s risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, modern orthodontic treatment can correct these issues in a few months and leave patients with healthy, straight smiles.

The most common method of treating malocclusion with braces involves using elastic bands, which apply additional force to specific areas of the mouth to help shift the teeth into proper alignment. These bands are typically called rubber bands or elastics and can come in various shapes, sizes, and force categories. Your treatment plan will determine the type and size of elastics you must wear.

Typically, elastics are made of either latex or synthetic materials. While both types are safe to contact the gums, a recent study suggests that latex bands provide more stable force over time than their synthetic counterparts. Regardless of the type of elastics, you’ll need to wear; your orthodontist will give detailed instructions on how to place and remove them.

Rubber bands are typically attached to a bracket via small metal ties or tiny elastic bands called ligatures. A ligature connects the band to the bracket, which helps transfer the added force of the elastic to the teeth and bones of the jaw. While elastics can be a vital part of your orthodontic treatment, it is important to remember that the additional pressure they exert on your teeth and jaw will take some time to become comfortable. This is especially true if you are wearing the elastics daily.

You should avoid eating hard or chewy foods that can damage the teeth or gums when wearing elastics. In addition, you should be careful when drinking liquids that could cause your elastics to dislodge or fall off. While rare, a loose or missing elastic may work under the gums and pull out a tooth. To prevent this, you should always wear your elastics as instructed by your orthodontist.

Ligatures are the tiny elastic bands used to anchor the main archwire to the brackets on each tooth. They are available in many colors and are routinely checked, adjusted, or replaced at each orthodontic checkup appointment. Ligatures work to provide the necessary pressure to guide teeth into alignment and close spaces. They are also important in correcting the slight extrusion of a single tooth in infra occlusion or accelerating the expected results of fixed appliances.

The ligature materials are often made from surgical steel power chains. They can be in various shapes (delta or V-shaped rubber bands), depending on the needs of each case. Ligatures are usually only needed for short periods because prolonged use may cause the roots of the teeth to shorten.

Ligature ties are typically changed with every visit to the orthodontist, so they must remain clear. However, some patients prefer that the ligatures be colorful to add a personal touch to their orthodontic treatment. The orthodontist can make a recommendation as to what types of ligatures are best for each patient.

In modern fonts, ligatures are not always required, but they can help to improve connections between letters. Standard ligatures include fi and fl, but they can also be used to connect the outgoing stroke of an uppercase o to its lowercase counterparts (tz in German) or to form the ch and ck ligature in old Fraktur fonts.

In addition to ligatures, orthodontists use a variety of small metal clips known as squibs to assist in the closing of spaces between teeth. These are especially useful for correcting small spaces in the front teeth or the lingual aspect of the upper and lower arch. They are also used to close the space left by extractions, to correct the position of a single tooth, or to make room for expansion of the upper or lower jaw. They are most commonly placed behind the upper front teeth and on the molars, but they can also be used in the lower arch or on the molars of the back teeth.

Arch wires provide the constant, gradual pressure that moves teeth into alignment. Depending on the treatment plan, they vary in size, shape, and material. An orthodontist may also use elastics (rubber bands) and metal ligatures to help apply the proper amount of pressure on the teeth.

A basic orthodontic arch wire has a small diameter and is super-elastic. These are used at the beginning of treatment to place gentle but consistent pressure on the misaligned teeth. As your treatment progresses, the orthodontist will change to a thicker, less elastic archwire that is stiffer and allows them to control the movement of individual teeth more accurately. These wires can also be bent to add more pressure to specific teeth or correct any bite issues.

The archwire has a bending limit that it can’t exceed, or it will lose its memory and become permanently deformed. The bending limit is important because it ensures the archwire applies the right amount of pressure on a tooth. Once the bending limit is exceeded, a new archwire must be used.

Stainless steel wires are often used, but orthodontists have several choices to provide different stiffness levels and aesthetics. For example, a copper nickel-titanium wire has added resiliency. It also has a lower temperature transition and is more corrosion-resistant than traditional stainless steel wires.

Another option is a titanium-molybdenum alloy or TMA wire. This highly corrosion-resistant wire can be shaped and bent to place more or less pressure on the teeth. It is also available in a nickel-free version for patients with allergies to nickel.

Innovative Ways To Approach Dentistry


Dentistry can be an exciting profession, but it can also be tedious. To avoid burnout, it’s important to focus on unique services and improvements to patient experience.

For instance, patients can now schedule appointments via text message. Some dental practices also allow patients to make payments online. This saves staff time and reduces administrative burden.

1. Utilize Social Media

One of the most effective ways to attract new patients is through social media. For dentists, this means promoting dental-related content such as dental tips, infographics and videos. This will help educate and reach potential customers in a way that is both easy to understand and engaging. It also shows that the dentist is knowledgeable in their field, which builds trust and credibility.

Sharing patient testimonials is another way to increase visibility and build trust with potential clients. This type of content is especially effective when it’s shared on social media and can be used to show how happy previous customers have been with the service they received at your practice.

In addition to creating and sharing your own content, it’s also a good idea to use social media management tools to automate the posting process and maximize your exposure. These tools will also allow you to track your progress and analyze your performance. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer paid advertising, which is a great way to reach a large audience and target your ideal patients.

Another way to boost your visibility is by working with local influencers. This can be done through partnerships or through micro-influencers, who typically have a smaller following and focus on a specific demographic. In order to find the right influencers for your business, it’s important to research and identify which ones are most likely to connect with your patients. Once you’ve found the right influencers, you can work together to create and promote content that will drive traffic to your website and help generate more leads for your dental practice. This is a great way to grow your business and gain a competitive edge over other dental practices in your area.

2. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Going to the dentist is a nerve-wracking experience for many people. But new innovations are making it more convenient and accessible. From smart toothbrushes to teledentistry, these technologies are helping patients feel comfortable and cared for while saving time.

One of the most important things a dentist can do to attract more clients is to make sure their website is mobile-friendly. Google rewards sites that are optimized for mobile with a higher position in search results. If you’re unsure whether your website is mobile-friendly, there are tools available to test it.

Another way to attract more clients is to offer a unique value proposition (UVP). While it’s possible to generate new customers with free advertising, most dental marketing campaigns require a certain level of investment. To get the best ROI from your advertising, set SMART goals and choose digital marketing strategies that align with those goals.

If you’re running a paid ad, use targeted keywords and location targeting to ensure your ads are seen by the people most likely to be interested in your services. Make sure your ads are enticing and include information about your dental office’s services, staff, and insurance policies. Including call tracking on your ads is also a great way to see how many phone calls you receive from prospective patients.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to encourage your existing patients to leave reviews online. This can help your business stand out against competitors in local searches. You can do this by giving your patients a flyer with instructions on how to review you on Google, which has more weight in search than Yelp reviews. You can even make it easier for your patients to leave a review by offering them an incentive, such as a discount on their next appointment.

3. Automate Appointment Reminders

Automated appointment reminders are a great way to reduce no-show rates and help your clients stay on track with their health. Calling or sending manual messages to each client can be time-consuming, and it’s not always easy to keep track of delivery confirmations. However, implementing automated appointment reminders saves you and your clients a lot of hassle, helping you work more efficiently.

In addition to reducing no-shows, automated appointment reminders also improve your office’s scheduling. By using an omnichannel approach (email, text message, and phone), you can reach your clients no matter what their preferred communication method is. In addition, appointment reminders that are sent through a reputable software system are HIPAA-compliant.

Ensure that your clients know about the important details of their appointment, such as the date and time, and the location. In addition, it’s helpful to include a link that allows them to reschedule or cancel their appointment. This helps prevent them from showing up for a missed appointment and gives them the chance to resolve any conflicts.

It’s also best to avoid overdoing the number of appointment reminders you send. Too many messages can overwhelm clients, and they might feel like they’re being harassed. This could result in them taking their business elsewhere, which is bad for your reputation.

It’s important to note that appointment reminders aren’t a replacement for patient engagement tools, such as an online portal or a mobile app. These are more effective ways to encourage client loyalty and improve the overall quality of your services. Lastly, make sure that your client’s contact information is accurate and up-to-date before sending any appointment reminders. This way, you’ll be able to provide them with the best possible care.

4. Collaborate With Other Practitioners

Creating a collaborative model is one of the most innovative ways to approach dentistry. This involves bringing together dental and medical practitioners to work on projects that improve patients’ health. These efforts may include a joint meeting to discuss new treatment protocols, an exchange of information on common patient issues, or a brainstorming session on how best to tackle a specific problem.

Technology can play a vital role in improving patients’ oral health and providing them with the necessary tools to achieve long-term success. For example, new innovations such as the smart toothbrush allow people to track their brushing habits and receive real-time feedback on their technique, while helping them avoid cavities in the future. Additionally, innovations such as teledentistry allow patients to receive consultations and recommendations from dentists remotely, which can help them manage their dental problems more effectively and quickly.

In addition, collaborations can also help with scalability and uptake of new healthcare technologies, as well as reducing costs and time to market for new treatments. However, some innovations require significant upfront investment and expert training to be deployed for general use, which can limit the benefits they provide in the short term.

As more and more patients turn to the internet to find local services, having a strong digital marketing strategy is a necessity for dental practices. This includes an updated, user-friendly website that showcases your practice’s value proposition and builds trust with prospective patients. It’s also essential to have a robust local SEO strategy that incorporates relevant keywords, positive reviews, and community involvement. Finally, utilizing Yelp ads is a great way to get in front of local patients when they’re searching for a dentist.

5. Volunteer

As dentistry is a local service, it makes sense for dental practices to get involved in their community. This can take on many forms, including financial donations to local charities or volunteer work. Whether you choose to give your time or donate money, volunteering can help you build a strong reputation in your community and increase your patient base.

Dental volunteers can also provide assistance in resource-poor communities around the world. This can be especially important for people in low-income households, who may be less likely to have access to affordable oral healthcare. The global burden of dental decay is a substantial health concern, with over 90% of the world’s population affected by it. The burden is even higher in low- and middle-income countries due to a combination of factors, including lack of access to adequate dental care.

Both pre-dental and dental students can benefit from volunteering, but it is a great way for dentists to acquire new skills and help the communities that they are serving. It can be a great experience and also helps you to meet different people in culturally diverse areas. In addition, most dental schools ask for a certain amount of volunteer work as part of the application process, so this can also be an excellent way to show your dedication to the profession.

One popular way to volunteer is by joining a program like Gap Medics, which offers medical and dental internships abroad. Their programs are suitable for pre-dental, dental, and nursing students and allow you to shadow doctors in different fields. Additionally, their projects are tailored to your skill level and provide a mix of education and hands-on experience, so you can practice the necessary skills for your future career in dentistry.