Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week NEWTON Teachers Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Referencing NEWTON Frequently Asked Questions About Ask A Scientist About NEWTON Education At Argonne Materials and Orthodonture

Name: Laura 
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2014

How is chemistry involved with orthodontists?

Hi Laura,

Thanks for the question. Chemistry is utilized in several areas of orthodontics. First, epoxy glues are used to set the braces into place. The glues cure (or harden) by means of a chemical reaction. Other types of dental fillers cure by a UV-light induced chemical reaction. The wire braces are often plated so that they provide a smooth surface to prevent bacterial films and corrosion. The plating process involves a redox chemical reaction.

I hope this helps. Thanks Jeff Grell

Click here to return to the Material Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 223
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: November 2011
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory