Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this online, and my son will be more than a little miffed, if he reads this, but he recently had a trip to the orthodontist and is now the proud owner of an upper teeth realignment device, a brace, as we used to know them in the good, old days. So why am I telling you this?
Well, the fitting of the brace raises an interesting question of mechanics as to what the brace is actually doing. It is composed if small metal plates effectively fixed along a piece of tough wire. The plates are seated on the front of the teeth, with one plate on each tooth and the wire is anchored somewhere in the back of the mouth. Now, what I cannot understand is why. The upper incisors of the orthodontic patient in question seem to slope inwards, rather than jutting out. My gut feeling is that pushing the teeth backwards with little metal plates is going to make them more recessive if anything. So, how does this system work? What are the true forces involved in dental realignment and how does pushing the teeth in the direction they are already going make them move into the correct position.
Maybe all will become clear with the next visit…meanwhile, I have to thank the NHS for funding this work, without it, it would be costing us a small fortune…
UPDATE: Treatment went well and he now has lovely straight teeth, as does our daughter who followed the same path a few years later.