How do braces straighten crooked teeth?

Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Your braces are at work every moment of your orthodontic treatment. The two main components of your braces are the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the main archwire that connects them. The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is bent to reflect your "ideal" bite. In other words, it reflects the way we want you to look after treatment.

The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting in your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from the archwire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows in behind. Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day.


Different Types of Braces

Metal braces

These are the most popular with kids and teenagers. These braces are much smaller than ever before. We also offer our patients the opportunity to change the color appearance of their braces at each visit by offering many colors of ligature ties (the small attachments used to keep the wire in the brace).

Clear Braces

Translucent clear ceramic braces are popular with adults. You have to be very close to someone to be able to see them. Yet, because they are a ceramic material, they are more fragile. Also, ceramic brackets can sometimes result in increased treatment time due to more frequent appliance breakage and slower tooth movement. There is a tendency for the small ties used to hold the wire in the brace to stain. Even with these problems, many of our adult and several of our younger patients have and are pleased with the ceramic braces.