Text reads: The Mysteries of Life with Tim and Moby

Teeth are shown, opening and closing. Tim reads from a typed letter.

TIM: Dear Tim and Moby, Can you tell me about braces? From, Jedbear1.

Moby joins Tim.

TIM: Most people get braces to correct their bite. Your bite is the way that your teeth fit together when you bring them into a normal chewing position.

Animated teeth illustrate a correct bite.

TIM: If your bite is off, it can cause jaw and muscle problems later on. Tooth doctors called orthodontists can correct our bites with braces.

Moby places his hand on Tim's face and squeezes it.

TIM: Get off!

TIM: Ideally, teeth should line up with the top teeth closing just over the lower teeth. But that's not always the case for a lot of us.

Animated teeth illustrate what Tim describes.

TIM: This is an overbite. The upper teeth bite too far over the lower ones.

Animated teeth illustrate an overbite.

TIM: Some people have underbites, where the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth when they bite down.

Animated teeth illustrate an underbite.

TIM: A crossbite happens when a lower tooth slips to the outside of an upper tooth.

Animated teeth illustrate a crossbite.

TIM: Braces straighten teeth by putting steady pressure on your teeth for a period of time. Everyone's teeth are different, so the length of time that braces stay on varies from person to person. The average time is about two years.

Images show calendar pages falling away and then an orthodontist's office.

TIM: When you get braces, an orthodontist attaches tiny brackets to your teeth, usually metal, but you can get white ceramic ones, too. An archwire fits into the brackets and provides most of the force that moves your teeth. These connect to molar bands, rings o metal that encircle your back teeth and anchor the braces in place. The brackets transfer the pressure from the archwire to each individual tooth. Over time, your braces will pull your teeth into place.

An animation shows how braces are placed on a set of upper teeth.

TIM: It may take some extra help to correct your bite. Rubber bands can be added to braces to help correct the way your teeth line up.

An animation shows a side view of how braces work. A rubber band connects from a bottom molar bands to a hook on the top archwire

TIM: Head gear or neck gear pulls at your teeth from the back of your neck or the top of your head.

Tim is shown wearing neck gear. An arrow points to the way it pulls the teeth back.

MOBY: Beep.

Moby holds up a retainer.

TIM: Give me that!

Tim snatches the retainer from Moby and puts it in his mouth.


TIM: When you finally get your braces off, you may need to wear a retainer that's molded to fit your straightened teeth. The retainer's job is to hold your teeth in place so they don't shift back to their original position.

Images show the retainer, then a set of teeth with the retainer wires holding the teeth in place.

TIM: This may seem like a pain, but you should wear your retainer, or you'll have worn those braces all that time for nothing. (looks over at Moby) What are you doing?

Moby has opened a carton of eggs and placed braces on them.

TIM: Braces? On eggs? Yeah, that ought to keep those pesky eggs in line.

Moby waves his arms in celebration.

MOBY: Beep. Beep. Beep.

TIM: Maybe if you just put each egg into its own individual box.

MOBY: Beep.

TIM: Oh, for Pete's sake.

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