Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
  • comment
  • views

Physics of being a Brace-Face



The epitome of the awkward teen years is of course braces. Almost everyone in the world could use braces, my orthodontist assures me of this, since basically no one in the world has perfectly aligned teeth. The science of orthodontics though requires lots of applications of physics to get the job done!

I myself went through the torture of braces for the last four years, beginning with a devilish instrument called a pendulum. Now a pendulum is not anything like a pendulum in a clock that swings back and forth other than the fact that if a pendulum was in your mouth it would probably hurt just as much. Besides that point though a pendulum is very unique in its form of torture. The pendulum is secured to the back teeth which are stationary so that it can slowwwwly push the other teeth and make the correct space to perfectly align the teeth. This is directly using physics principals as a net force is applied to the teeth so they are pushed into the correct position. The power of the pendulum is found in the metal structure itself which being secured to the back teeth cannot move meaning that it is a sort of spring applying force to the teeth.

As if this torture was not enough, the pendulum is only the first of many long steps in the process of braces. The next step is the actual braces themselves.

The metal braces consist of long metal wires which are affixed to the teeth, these wires are tightened VERY much so that they too have energy to apply forces on the teeth. They are continually tightened throughout the process on every visit so that they continue to straighten and realign the teeth.

Picture from pixshark.com

The best and probably FUNNEST (sarcasm) part of braces is most definitely the rubber bands that you are forced to wear 24/7. The rubber bands basically do the same thing that the others do applying force to the teeth so that they can be made looking perfect. This time though the energy that fixes the teeth is stored a tad differently with rubber bands being stretched obviously holding the energy. The bands have to be continually changed so that the energy is kept as high as possible and the most force applied at all times. This means moving teeth and an unhappy brace wearer.

So next time you see someone with braces, say a short prayer for them that physics doesn't hurt them too much.


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.

  • Create New...