Not everything has changed in orthodontics. We still have to stick braces to teeth, still use rubber bands, still have to attach the arch wires that cause tooth movement.
But one thing that has really changed is that arch wire. Have you seen those commercials with the eyeglasses you can bend and wad up, then they spring back to their original shape? What is the material they are made of? It is an alloy of nickel and titanium called Nitinol. It's a metal that tends to return to the original shape, even after it is bent or deformed.
It has been revolutionary for orthodontics.
Think about it... you have a straight wire, then make it "crooked" or otherwise deform or bend it to the shape of your not so straight teeth and attach it to the teeth. Then the wire wants to be straight again slowly moving back to its original position bringing the teeth along for the ride. That is slow constant pressure over time. That's what moves teeth.
This amazing metal results in shorter appointments (less wires to bend), less discomfort (consistent gentle pressure) and less treatment time (fewer wire changes)