How Do Braces Work – The Process Of Creating A Beautiful Smile

How do braces work to straighten teeth? Many of us had braces when we were younger and some of us wore them as adults. Have you ever wondered how we go from an awkward, misaligned, and crooked smile in the beginning to the miraculous beautiful smile we end up with in the end? We can see and feel our teeth move over the course of treatment, but how exactly do they do it?

There are some main components involved in braces to be familiar with so you can understand the question of how do braces work.

Brackets – The brackets are the main metal portion of the braces that are attached to each tooth with bonding material. This bonding material is a type of glue that keeps the brackets firmly attached to the teeth over the course of treatment.

Arch Wire – The arch wire is a thin piece of metal placed over the brackets. The arch wire puts pressure on the teeth and gives them the direction they need to become aligned and straight.

O-Rings – The O-Rings are also known as ligature elastics. When the braces are tightened, o-rings are changed. There are a variety of colors of o-rings to choose from if you are looking for a more colorful smile while you wear your braces.

Elastics – In the case of an overbite or an under bite the orthodontist may use elastics. The elastics create added pressure to straighten the teeth and can be used to build more tension to direct the teeth and jaw into the desired position.

How Do Braces Work Over The Course of Treatment

how do braces work


During the time the braces are on the teeth, the teeth will loosen and move because of the pressure created by the wire and elastics. This causes the surrounding membrane of the teeth on one side to expand. The other side constricts. This causes the teeth to loosen from the gum line. As the teeth become straighter they move less. The bone around the membrane then grows to support the new position of the tooth. This process must go slowly, because if it happens too fast, the patient could lose their teeth. Because of this, braces need to be worn on average one to three years so this process can occur gradually. This is the basic answer to the question of “how do braces work?”

Each person will have a slightly different course of treatment depending on their needs. Some people will have other devices that may be needed along the way to get the desired results in the end. In certain cases headgear will need to be worn at night. This allows certain teeth to stay in place, while moving other teeth.

How Do Braces Work – What Happens After The Teeth Are Straight

After the teeth have become straight and the braces have been removed comes the final step. This is the retainer. Usually the retainer is worn 24 hours a day, or as determined by the specific orthodontist. The job of the retainer is to keep the teeth in their new position while the bone around the teeth becomes stronger and can support the teeth on their own. It is critical to wear the retainer as directed. If not, you can risk your teeth moving back to their old position, causing all the time and money spent on the braces to be wasted.

This is the overview for how do braces work. The process is one that really creates miraculous results at the end of the process.  The video below will gives a fun visual of how do braces work with the use of time lapse photos of the process of creating a beautiful smile.

How Do Braces Work – A Fun, Time Lapse Video Of The Progression

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Clear Braces vs Metal Braces for Straighter Teeth

Clear Braces vs. Metal Braces for Straighter Teeth

Dental braces are devices that are used to correct crooked or misaligned teeth.When you are getting braces, you have the option between clear vs metal teeth braces.

Types of braces

As long as you have healthy teeth and gums, even though you are past your teenage years, you can still get braces. There are various types of dental braces so make sure that you consult an orthodontist first in order to determine the type of brace that is best suited for you.

Remember that deciding to get braces involves commitment. You have to be ready for some changes in the food that you eat. You must also be committed to visiting your orthodontist as scheduled.

Looking Closely into Clear vs Metal Braces

What are metal braces?

Metal braces are your usual wired braces where you see bright silver hardware. Metal brackets can be in silver or gold.  This type of brace is strong and can withstand almost all types of treatment. Initially, you may find your gums irritated with the metal ones. But as soon as you are able to adjust to the braces, you will no longer feel the irritation.

Metal braces usually come with an elastic rubber band which is used to hold the arch wire to the bracket. Let us take a look at the good and the bad side of metal braces before deciding if this is for you.

Advantages of Metal Braces

  • Metal braces are more affordable than the clear type. If you are on a budget, you can opt for this.
  • You will have to wear braces for more than a year. Correcting misaligned or crooked teeth usually will take more than a year of treatment. But sometimes, the use of metal braces themselves can shorten the time that you have to wear them.
  • Metal braces are durable and they do not easily break.

Disadvantages of Metal Braces

  • You will have the traditional “metal mouth” if you are very conscious with it.
  • Metal braces are more visible. There is pretty much nothing that you can do to hide them from others.
  • During the first few weeks of wearing braces, you may feel some discomfort and gum irritation. This will eventually go away.
  • Since metal braces are not removable, you have to use a toothbrush that will be able to clean your teeth properly.
  • Certain foods are not allowed because they might get stuck to the metal.



What are Clear Braces?

This is another type of brace that is suitable for conscious individuals who do not want to be seen with a metal wire attached to their mouth.  Clear braces are alternative to metal braces. This is an invisible way for you to improve your smile. If you are looking for comfort, then clear braces are for you.

Advantages of Clear Braces

  • Clear braces are invisible. It can straighten your teeth like the traditional braces.  You can enjoy invisible teeth straightening with this type of brace.
  • This device is removable so you can eat all sorts of food without worrying if you are allowed to eat them. You can eat sticky and hard food all you want.
  • Brushing and flossing are not hindered with this type of braces because you can easily remove them during oral hygiene. There is no need to worry about tooth decay because you can easily clean your teeth.
  • A clear brace is a smooth plastic which can be comfortably worn. There are no metals to make you feel uncomfortable or wires that may bite into your skin.
  • With clear braces, your schedule with an orthodontist is much lesser compared to the visits when you are wearing traditional braces.

Disadvantages of Clear Braces

  • They can be quite expensive. If you are on a tight budget, this type of brace might not be for you.
  • Since this brace can be removed anytime, you are controlling the success of the treatment. There is a required number that the braces should be worn in order to achieve the desired result. If you keep on removing your braces every now and then, it may take a longer time to align your teeth.
  • Sugar and debris may be trapped in the aligners which can cause cavities. This is why it is removed when eating.

In order to know more about the types of braces and the difference between metal vs clear braces, it is important to consult with an orthodontist. Your orthodontist will be able to provide answers to your questions and provide you with the necessary information that you need.

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