How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Orthodontic braces exert constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Your braces, therefore, are working every moment throughout your journey. 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 mechanically milled and smoothed metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is bent to create the ideal archshape. The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire returns to its original shape, the resulting pressure that is applied to the teeth results in tooth movement.

Tooth movement occurs via a complex system of cellular interactions. A tooth moves as the application of light orthodontic forces results in bone resorption on the pressure side of the root of the tooth being moved. On the opposite side of the root, or tension side, bone remodeling and deposition results in new bone formation. This process of resorption of bone on the one side and deposition on the other describes how teeth are repositioned orthodontically to reach their desired location.

Types of Braces

Metal braces are the most popular with kids and teenagers. These braces are much smaller than ever before.  Meanwhile, translucent clear ceramic braces are the most 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.


Invisalign makes it easy to

straighten your teeth without

bands, brackets, or wires.”

Invisalign® clear braces are clear, removable, aligners that gradually move teeth without using metal braces or wires. Invisalign® is an appropriate treatment when the teeth are fully erupted (adult) and there is not a large degree of crowding, spacing or malocclusion. The aligners must be worn full time, day and night, and they should only be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. Aligners are created from special impressions that are taken of your teeth.

This advanced system works by using 3-D computer imaging technology to map the complete process of your treatment from beginning to end.  From this initial plan, a series of custom-made aligners are produced.  Each unique aligner is worn for approximately two weeks and gradually moves your teeth, preparing your teeth for the next aligner.  This process continues until the final position is achieved.

Only selected cases can be treated with the Invisalign system. For the removable aligner to place controlled and efficient forces on the teeth to move them to their desired locations, certain criteria must be met. All teeth must be fully erupted, therefore Invisalign® is not recommended for children or those individuals without a fully erupted dentition. The aligners must be worn full time, day and night, and they should only be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. If this is not possible, the aligners will not achieve the desired movements.

Maintaining your Invisalign aligners…

An aligner may be cleaned by brushing it and rinsing it in lukewarm water. Aggressive brushing may scratch the aligner and make it more visible. Do not eat, chew gum, or smoke with an aligner on. This will discolor or distort the aligner. Other than water, drinking is ill-advised while the aligners are on.

A lost, broken, or distorted aligner will not move teeth in the proper manner. If an aligner is lost or broken after less than ten days of wear, use the previous aligner and call our office to make a new aligner. If the aligner has been worn for 11 days or more, change to the next aligner in the series.