How Do Braces Work?

Are you or a loved one considering orthodontic treatment with braces? Understanding how braces work can demystify the process and help you make informed decisions about your dental care. At Clement Orthodontics, we believe that knowledge is an essential part of your orthodontic journey.

Braces have been a transformative solution for countless individuals, correcting various dental issues and creating beautiful, healthy smiles. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the science behind braces, the treatment process, and the pivotal role they play in achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.

As your trusted orthodontic partner, Clement Orthodontics is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality of care and a deep understanding of orthodontic procedures. We are committed to making your orthodontic experience as comfortable and effective as possible. Let’s embark on this journey to uncover the fascinating world of braces and learn how they work their magic on your teeth and smile.

Understanding Orthodontic Problems

Before we dive into how braces work, it’s essential to grasp the common dental issues they address. Orthodontic problems can vary widely, but they generally fall into a few categories:


This term refers to the misalignment of the teeth when the jaws close, leading to an improper bite. Common malocclusions include overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. These issues can result from genetic factors, thumb-sucking habits, or the early loss of baby teeth.


Crowding occurs when there’s not enough space in your mouth for all your teeth to align correctly. This can cause teeth to overlap or become twisted, making it challenging to clean them effectively.


On the flip side, some people have excessive space between their teeth. This can create gaps or spaces that not only affect aesthetics but can also lead to gum problems.

Misplaced Midline

The midline is an imaginary line that separates your upper and lower teeth. When this line doesn’t match up with your facial midline, it can result in an asymmetrical smile.

Understanding the specific orthodontic issue you’re dealing with is crucial because it guides your treatment plan. Your orthodontist at Clement Orthodontics will conduct a thorough examination and discuss these issues with you, helping you understand how braces can effectively address them. Now, let’s delve into the mechanics of how braces work their magic in correcting these problems.

The Science Behind Braces

Braces might seem complex, but at their core, they work based on straightforward principles of physics and biology. The main idea is to apply consistent, gentle pressure to your teeth over time to encourage them to move into the desired positions. Here’s how it happens:


The foundation of braces lies in the small metal or ceramic brackets that are bonded to your teeth. These brackets act as handles for the next critical component: wires.


Thin, flexible wires, called archwires, run through these brackets. They’re responsible for transmitting the pressure from your braces to your teeth. Initially, archwires are relatively thin, but they gradually become thicker over time, exerting controlled pressure on your teeth.

Elastics and Bands

In some cases, small elastics or bands are used to help align your bite or hold the archwires in place. These tiny components can play a significant role in directing the movement of your teeth.

Bone Remodeling

Your teeth don’t move through the bone as you might expect. Instead, they move through a process called bone remodeling. The pressure applied by the braces stimulates your body’s natural response to rebuild and reshape the bone around your teeth. This allows your teeth to settle into their new positions.

Regular Adjustments

To ensure everything is progressing as planned, you’ll need to visit your orthodontist at Clement Orthodontics for periodic adjustments. During these appointments, your archwires may be replaced with thicker ones, and any necessary changes will be made to your braces’ configuration.

It’s essential to note that the entire process is gradual and controlled to avoid any damage to your teeth or surrounding tissues. Braces are designed to be as comfortable as possible while achieving the desired results.

Initial Consultation

Your journey towards a beautifully aligned smile with braces begins with an initial consultation at Clement Orthodontics. This is an essential step where you’ll get to know your orthodontist and the orthodontic team, discuss your specific concerns, and start planning your treatment. Here’s what typically happens during this appointment:

Dental Examination

Your orthodontist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and jaws. They will look for issues such as misalignment, crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, or crossbites. X-rays and photographs may be taken to get a complete view of your oral health.


You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your goals and concerns. This is the time to mention any issues you’ve been experiencing, such as difficulty chewing, jaw pain, or self-esteem concerns related to your smile.

Treatment Options

Based on the examination and your goals, your orthodontist will present you with the most suitable treatment options. Braces come in various types, including traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and clear aligners like Invisalign. Your orthodontist will explain the pros and cons of each option, helping you make an informed decision.

Treatment Plan

Once you’ve chosen the type of braces that best aligns with your needs and lifestyle, your orthodontist will create a customized treatment plan. This plan outlines the steps required to achieve your desired results, including an estimate of how long your treatment may take.

Financial Discussion

Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your oral health and confidence. During your initial consultation, you’ll also receive information about the cost of the treatment and any available payment plans or insurance coverage.

Addressing Questions

It’s normal to have questions about the process, the duration of treatment, or any potential discomfort. Your orthodontist and their team are there to address all your concerns and provide you with a clear understanding of what to expect.

By the end of your initial consultation, you should have a comprehensive understanding of your orthodontic needs, the available treatment options, and a clear roadmap for your braces journey. This appointment marks the beginning of your path to a healthier, more confident smile.

The Braces Installation Process

After your initial consultation, you’ve made the decision to start your orthodontic journey with braces. Congratulations, you’re on your way to achieving a beautifully aligned smile! Now, let’s walk through what you can expect during the braces installation process at Clement Orthodontics.

Preparing Your Teeth

Before attaching the braces, your orthodontist will begin by thoroughly cleaning and drying your teeth. This ensures that the brackets and wires adhere securely to your teeth for the duration of your treatment.

Applying Brackets

The next step involves attaching brackets to each of your teeth using a special adhesive. These brackets serve as the anchors for the wires that will gently guide your teeth into their correct positions. You can choose from various types of braces, including traditional metal, ceramic, or lingual braces (hidden behind your teeth).

Securing the Archwire

Once the brackets are in place, your orthodontist will insert an archwire through the brackets. This wire is what applies gentle pressure to your teeth, encouraging them to move into their desired positions. The wire is held in position using small bands or ties that come in a variety of colors if you want to personalize your braces.

Adjusting Bands

Bands or ties are used to secure the archwire to each bracket. These bands can be customized in color, allowing you to add a fun and personal touch to your braces. Children and teenagers often enjoy choosing colors to express their personalities.

Instruction and Care Tips

Your orthodontist will provide you with instructions on how to care for your braces and teeth during your treatment. This includes guidance on brushing and flossing, dietary restrictions to avoid damaging your braces, and how to deal with any potential discomfort.

Comfort and Final Check

The braces installation process is generally painless. Your orthodontist will make sure everything is comfortable and secure before you leave the office. They may schedule your first adjustment appointment for a few weeks after this initial installation.

Feeling Your Braces

It’s normal to feel a little strange with braces at first. Your teeth may be a bit tender as they start to move. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage any discomfort, and orthodontic wax can alleviate any irritation from wires or brackets.

Remember, the process may take about 1-2 hours, but it’s a crucial step towards achieving a healthier, more aligned smile. Your orthodontist and their team at Clement Orthodontics are there to guide you through this journey, ensuring you’re comfortable and well-informed at every step.

Ongoing Adjustments

Congratulations on taking the first step towards a beautifully aligned smile with your braces from Clement Orthodontics. Now that your braces are in place, let’s delve into what you can expect during your orthodontic journey, including the essential aspect of ongoing adjustments.

Scheduled Appointments

Your orthodontist will schedule regular appointments to check your progress and make necessary adjustments. These appointments are typically spaced a few weeks apart. During these visits, your orthodontist will assess how your teeth are responding to treatment and make any required changes.

Wire and Band Adjustments

One of the key elements of these appointments is adjusting the archwire and bands. Your orthodontist will carefully make these adjustments to ensure your teeth continue moving in the right direction. These adjustments are essential for achieving the desired alignment and bite.

Addressing Specific Issues

If there are any specific issues or concerns, such as a bracket or wire that needs repair, these appointments are when they will be addressed. It’s essential to communicate any discomfort or issues you’re experiencing between appointments, so your orthodontist can provide timely solutions.

Monitoring Your Progress

Your orthodontist will keep a close eye on your progress throughout your treatment. They’ll track how your teeth are moving, how your bite is improving, and whether any additional measures, such as rubber bands or headgear, are needed to achieve optimal results.

Brace Color Change

If you have traditional braces with colored bands, these adjustment appointments provide an opportunity to change the colors. This is a fun and creative aspect of having braces, especially for children and teenagers who can express their personality with different color choices.

Questions and Concerns

These appointments are also an excellent time to ask any questions or voice concerns you may have. Your orthodontist and their team at Clement Orthodontics are here to support you throughout your treatment, and they want to ensure you’re comfortable and informed every step of the way.

Remember, orthodontic treatment is a journey, and regular adjustments are crucial for achieving your desired results. By attending these appointments and following your orthodontist’s guidance on care and maintenance, you’re well on your way to a healthier, more aligned smile. In the next section, we’ll explore some common questions and concerns associated with braces.

The Role of Orthodontic Appliances

As you progress through your orthodontic treatment with Clement Orthodontics, you may encounter various orthodontic appliances that play a significant role in achieving the smile you’ve always wanted. These appliances work in conjunction with your braces and are designed to address specific issues in your orthodontic journey. Let’s explore some common orthodontic appliances and their roles:

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Elastics are a versatile and essential component of many orthodontic treatments. They’re often used to correct bite issues and alignment problems. Your orthodontist will provide specific instructions on how to wear them, as they come in various configurations, including crossbite elastics, overbite elastics, and more. Consistently wearing your elastics as directed is crucial for the success of your treatment.


Headgear is an orthodontic appliance that helps correct significant bite and alignment issues, particularly in growing patients. It consists of a headpiece connected to a facebow or wire framework that attaches to your braces. Wearing headgear as prescribed by your orthodontist can influence the growth of your jaw and achieve proper alignment.


Palatal expanders are devices used to widen the upper jaw. They are often employed to address crowding issues, correct crossbites, and improve overall alignment. Your orthodontist will adjust the expander periodically to achieve the desired expansion.


Retainers are perhaps the most familiar orthodontic appliances, often worn after braces to maintain the newly achieved alignment. There are different types of retainers, including removable and fixed options. Your orthodontist will determine the appropriate type for your specific needs.

Habit Appliances

These appliances are designed to help patients break harmful habits such as thumb-sucking or tongue-thrusting. By eliminating these habits, orthodontic treatment can progress more effectively.

Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)

TADs are small, temporary implants used to provide additional anchorage for more complex orthodontic movements. They can help achieve precise tooth positioning and are typically removed after they’ve served their purpose.

Space Maintainers

In cases where a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer may be necessary to hold the space open until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.

Each of these orthodontic appliances serves a specific purpose and is customized to meet your unique treatment needs. Your orthodontist at Clement Orthodontics will carefully evaluate your case and recommend the most suitable appliances to ensure that your orthodontic journey is as efficient and effective as possible.

The Journey to a Beautiful Smile

Embarking on the path to a stunning, well-aligned smile is an exciting journey, and Clement Orthodontics is here to guide you every step of the way. Let’s explore what you can expect as you progress through your orthodontic treatment:

Initial Consultation

Your orthodontic journey begins with a comprehensive initial consultation at Clement Orthodontics. During this appointment, your orthodontist will evaluate your oral health, discuss your treatment goals, and determine the best course of action. X-rays, photographs, and impressions of your teeth may be taken to create a personalized treatment plan.

Treatment Planning

With the information gathered during your consultation, your orthodontist will develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. This plan outlines the orthodontic appliances and techniques to be used and provides a timeline for your treatment.

Braces Installation

If traditional braces are part of your treatment plan, you’ll have your braces installed during a separate appointment. This process involves attaching brackets to your teeth and securing them with wires. The wires are adjusted periodically to gently move your teeth into their desired positions.

Orthodontic Appliances

Depending on your specific case, you may be provided with additional orthodontic appliances such as elastics, headgear, expanders, or retainers. These appliances play a vital role in achieving optimal results.

Regular Check-Ups

Throughout your orthodontic treatment, you’ll attend regular check-up appointments at Clement Orthodontics. During these visits, your orthodontist will monitor your progress, make necessary adjustments, and address any questions or concerns you may have. Consistent attendance at these appointments is essential for the success of your treatment.

Personalized Care

Clement Orthodontics takes pride in providing personalized care. Your orthodontist and the entire team are dedicated to ensuring your comfort and satisfaction throughout your journey. You’ll receive clear guidance on oral hygiene practices, dietary restrictions, and how to care for your orthodontic appliances.

Celebrating Milestones

Achieving a beautiful smile is a journey filled with exciting milestones. As you see your teeth gradually shift into alignment, you’ll celebrate each step closer to your desired outcome.


After your braces are removed, you’ll transition to wearing retainers. These devices help maintain the newly achieved alignment of your teeth. Your orthodontist will provide instructions on when and how to wear them.

Final Results

With patience and dedication, you’ll reach the end of your orthodontic journey, and the braces will be removed. Your orthodontist will ensure that your teeth are properly aligned and that your bite functions correctly.

Long-Term Oral Health

A beautiful smile is just one aspect of orthodontic treatment. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain, contributing to better long-term oral health.

Clement Orthodontics is committed to making your journey to a beautiful smile as comfortable and rewarding as possible. Your orthodontist will be there to answer your questions, address any concerns, and provide the guidance you need to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

Maintaining Oral Health

Throughout your orthodontic journey with Clement Orthodontics, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is crucial. Proper care of your teeth and orthodontic appliances will not only ensure the success of your treatment but also contribute to your overall oral health. Here are some essential tips to help you maintain oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment:

Regular Brushing

Brushing your teeth is more important than ever while wearing braces. Aim to brush after every meal and before bedtime. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Be thorough, brushing all surfaces of your teeth, including around brackets and wires.


Flossing can be a bit challenging with braces, but it’s essential to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth. Floss threaders or special orthodontic floss can make this task easier. Your orthodontist can provide guidance on effective flossing techniques.

Interdental Brushes

Interdental brushes, also known as proxy brushes, are handy for cleaning between wires and brackets. These small brushes can reach areas that regular brushing and flossing might miss.


Using an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash can help kill bacteria and strengthen tooth enamel. Swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out.

Orthodontic Wax

If you experience irritation or sore spots from your braces, orthodontic wax can provide relief. Apply a small amount to the affected area to create a protective barrier.

Avoid Problem Foods

Certain foods can damage your braces or get stuck in them, leading to hygiene issues. Avoid hard, sticky, or crunchy foods, as well as excessive sugary snacks and drinks.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help wash away food particles and bacteria. Plus, water is essential for overall health.

Regular Orthodontic Check-Ups

Attend your scheduled appointments at Clement Orthodontics for adjustments and check-ups. Your orthodontist will assess your progress and address any concerns.

Use Your Orthodontic Appliances as Instructed

If you’ve been provided with additional appliances like elastics or headgear, follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wearing them. Consistent use is vital for optimal results.

Protect Your Smile

If you participate in sports or activities where there’s a risk of injury to your mouth, consider wearing a mouthguard. Your orthodontist can recommend suitable options.

By following these guidelines and maintaining excellent oral hygiene, you’ll help ensure that your orthodontic treatment progresses smoothly and that your smile remains healthy and bright. Remember, Clement Orthodontics is here to support you throughout your journey to a beautiful and healthy smile.

Monitoring Progress

Throughout your orthodontic treatment at Clement Orthodontics, regular monitoring of your progress is a key aspect of achieving your desired results. Here’s what you can expect in terms of progress monitoring:

Scheduled Appointments

Your orthodontist will schedule regular appointments to assess your treatment progress. These appointments are typically spaced several weeks apart to allow for adjustments and to monitor how your teeth are moving.

X-Rays and Imaging

X-rays and other imaging techniques may be used periodically to get a detailed view of the changes happening in your mouth. This helps your orthodontist fine-tune your treatment plan.


At each appointment, your orthodontist may make adjustments to your braces or other orthodontic appliances. This is a crucial part of ensuring that your teeth move correctly and on schedule.

Assessment of Bite

Your orthodontist will continually assess how your bite is improving. This includes checking how your upper and lower teeth come together and ensuring that your jaw alignment is progressing as planned.

Monitoring Oral Hygiene

Your orthodontist and their team will also monitor your oral hygiene during these appointments. They will check for signs of plaque buildup, gum inflammation, or other issues that can arise during orthodontic treatment.

Answering Your Questions

These appointments are an excellent opportunity to ask any questions or voice concerns you may have about your treatment. Your orthodontist and their team are there to provide guidance and ensure you feel comfortable throughout the process.

Tracking Changes

Over time, you’ll notice changes in your smile and bite. Your orthodontist will track these changes meticulously to ensure your treatment is progressing as planned.

Estimated Treatment Duration

Your orthodontist will give you an estimate of how long your treatment will last based on your specific case. While this estimate can change as treatment progresses, it provides a general timeline for your orthodontic journey.

It’s important to attend all scheduled appointments and follow your orthodontist’s instructions carefully. This will help ensure that your treatment stays on track, and any issues or adjustments are addressed promptly. Remember, the team at Clement Orthodontics is dedicated to helping you achieve your smile goals, and they will be there to support you every step of the way.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the fascinating world of orthodontics and answered the fundamental question: “How do braces work?” We’ve uncovered the science behind these remarkable appliances and delved into the process of achieving a beautifully aligned smile.

At Clement Orthodontics, we understand that embarking on an orthodontic journey is a significant decision. We’re here to assure you that the path to a straighter, healthier smile is guided by science, expertise, and personalized care.

By understanding the principles of orthodontics, from the initial consultation to the ongoing progress monitoring, you’re better equipped to embark on your orthodontic journey with confidence. You can trust our team of dedicated professionals to provide you with the highest level of care and guidance throughout the process.

Remember, orthodontic treatment is not just about aesthetics; it’s about improving your oral health, enhancing your bite, and boosting your self-confidence. Whether you’re considering braces for yourself or a family member, you’re taking a significant step towards a happier, healthier future.

If you have further questions about orthodontic treatment or if you’re ready to begin your journey to a straighter smile, don’t hesitate to reach out to Clement Orthodontics. We’re here to transform smiles and change lives—one brace at a time.

Thank you for considering Clement Orthodontics as your partner in achieving the smile you’ve always dreamed of. We look forward to meeting you and helping you discover the many benefits of orthodontic treatment.

Remember, a beautiful smile begins with a single step, and at Clement Orthodontics, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.