How Do Teeth Move?

Amy Uncategorized

Moving teeth is relatively simple to do. Any gentle, continuous pressure from any source will cause tooth movement. (Even a 3 year old with a simple device called a thumb can do it!)

Using thin stainless steel or titanium wires and tiny elastics, orthodontists apply light sideways pressures to the teeth which cause bone to resorb on one side and new bone to build up on the other side, thereby moving them. Patients will note that the teeth become mobile and sore to bite on. This is temporary and occurs because the build-up of new bone around the tooth is a very slow process (like a fracture healing.) This is also why you can’t speed up orthodontic treatment; teeth can only be moved so fast.

Although it may be deceptively easy to move a tooth, moving all the upper and lower teeth into a normal bite (occlusion) in a child whose jaws are also growing in varying amounts and directions is an extremely difficult and exacting feat.

Doctors Jay, Steve and Brian have been trained in a wide variety of tooth moving techniques and can individualize treatment to achieve optimal results for each patient.