During the alignment stage of braces, what are causes for the front teeth to tip inwards or outwards, and is this a cause for concern?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Conventional braces treatment sequence is divided into a few stages, the first stage is termed as levelling and alignment, followed often by space closure and finally a stage called finishing where final tooth movements are made to ensure an aesthetic and functional outcome.

During the initial alignment stage a very thin and flexible wire is tied into the brackets bonded on each individual tooth. The wire exerts a force to pull each tooth to conform to the shape of this wire hence the teeth move relative to each other. A tooth that is positioned inwards will be tipped outwards and a tooth that is positioned outwards will be tipped inwards. The teeth move relative to each other and are pulled to the shape of the wire which is shaped in a parabolic arch. The goal is to ensure the teeth lie passively along the wire before moving on to the next step in your treatment. Hence teeth tipping in the initial stages of alignment is a normal and expected part of treatment, so not to worry it is not a cause for concern. 

Hope this helps and all the very best, 

Dr Priscilla Lu

Orthodontist

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