How Does It Work?

Kalamazoo Orthodontics: More Than Just Wires and Plastic
Serious Orthodontics – Warm People
Beautiful Smiles
Dr. Bowman with Patient

How Orthodontics Works

Teeth are connected to the bone by ligaments that act as shock absorbers for your teeth while you are chewing. One end of the ligament is attached to the bone and the other is attached to the tooth; the ligament contains receptors that are used to inform the brain how much force is being exerted on the tooth.

butterfly braces

When you use orthodontic braces (our signature Butterfly System) or clear aligner (e.g., Invisalign) to move the teeth you are forcing the ligaments to stretch and contract and cause tooth movement. The stress the ligament causes on the bone leads to a biological response called bone remodeling. Bone is reabsorbed in the compressed area and new bone is formed in the opened area. Did you know that almost 100% of our skeleton is replaced in the first year of our lives? This bone remodeling phenomenon continues at about 10% every year into adulthood.

On average teeth move about a millimeter per month during your orthodontic treatment. It is critical that your body adjusts to the treatment and properly grows in new bone. Each individual is different and the rate at which orthodontic treatment works varies widely. 

Kalamazoo Orthodontics:  Improving Southwest Michigan
One Smile at a Time