What Do Braces Do for Your Teeth? The Science Behind Them

May 8, 2024

Orthodontics, the art and science of tooth alignment, revolves around a remarkable tool: braces. These orthodontic marvels have empowered countless individuals to confidently showcase healthy, radiant smiles. But amidst their transformative power, have you ever pondered the question, “What do braces do for your teeth?” This article is your guide to unlocking the science behind this process.

Braces transcend mere metal components; they embody a fusion of medical ingenuity and engineering prowess. Employing specialized principles, they orchestrate a meticulous orchestration of tooth movement. This intricate dance involves the application of gentle pressure, subtle alterations in the jawbone, and vigilant monitoring through regular check-ups.

So, let's delve into the mechanics of braces. We'll navigate through each stage of the journey – from the inaugural appointment to the eagerly awaited day of brace removal. Along the way, we'll demystify the role of each brace component, elucidate the body's responsive mechanisms, and unveil the intricate choreography that propels your teeth toward their new alignment.

What Do Braces Do for Your Teeth?

Braces operate through a consistent application of pressure on both teeth and jaws, effectively reshaping their alignment and enhancing the smile. The attachment of brackets to teeth securely anchors the archwire, which, in turn, applies gentle pressure to the teeth. This continuous pressure gradually guides teeth towards their intended positions.

Surrounding the teeth and connecting them to the bone are the periodontal ligaments, which play a crucial role in maintaining tooth stability. These ligaments possess the ability to stretch or compress as teeth undergo movement. For instance, when braces shift a tooth to the right, the ligament on the right side compresses while new bone forms on the left side, facilitating the tooth's relocation.

Types of Braces

There are several types of braces available, each with its own unique advantages:

  • Traditional Metal Braces: These are the most common type of braces featuring metal brackets and wires. They are highly effective for treating various orthodontic issues.
  • Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces but use tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in with the teeth, making them less noticeable.
  • Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are placed on the back surface of the teeth, making them virtually invisible from the front. They are an ideal option for those who want a discreet orthodontic treatment.
  • Invisalign: Invisalign consists of clear, removable aligners that gradually move the teeth into alignment. They offer a more discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional braces.

Why Will You Need Braces?

Correcting Pronounced Overbites

Do you find your lower teeth biting into the roof of your mouth? Or perhaps your bottom teeth disappear when you close your mouth? These signs may indicate a pronounced overbite. Without treatment, overbites can lead to gum tissue damage and affect the health of your front teeth.

Addressing Underbites for a Confident Smile

Do your lower teeth overlap with your top front teeth when you smile? This could be a sign of an underbite, which our orthodontists can effectively treat. Underbites can impact eating and speaking, increasing the risk of oral injuries.

Resolving Open Bites

Take a moment to smile in front of the mirror. Notice a gap between your upper and lower teeth? This could indicate an open bite, causing difficulties with eating, speaking, and even leading to habits like tongue thrusting.

Dealing with Spacing Issues

Are irregularly spaced teeth creating wide gaps in your smile? This spacing may result from small teeth or missing teeth, affecting both aesthetics and oral health. Our team at Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics is here to assist you.

Combatting Crowding for a Beautiful Smile

Feeling like there's not enough room in your mouth for all your teeth? Crowding can cause teeth to overlap, impacting your smile's appearance and oral health. Fortunately, correcting crowded teeth is a common goal of orthodontic treatment.

How to Care for Braces?

Maintaining proper oral hygiene becomes paramount when wearing braces, as plaque and tartar accumulation around brackets and wires can pave the way for cavities and gingivitis.

Our orthodontist will furnish you with a comprehensive set of instructions tailored to care for your braces. However, here are some fundamental guidelines to follow:

  • Brush your teeth diligently at least twice daily, employing a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Incorporate daily flossing into your routine, navigating between teeth and around your braces. (Seek advice from your dental professional regarding specialized floss for braces.)
  • If utilizing clear aligners, ensure they are cleaned daily and stored appropriately when not in use.
  • Employ an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash twice daily to maintain oral hygiene.
  • Refrain from consuming hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that could jeopardize your braces.
  • Regularly schedule appointments with your orthodontist for adjustments and maintenance.
  • Additionally, uphold routine visits to your dentist for professional cleanings and comprehensive dental care.

How Much Do Braces Cost?

Some health and dental insurance plans do cover braces for dependent children. The extent of coverage varies depending on your provider and the specific orthodontic services recommended by your orthodontist.

According to the American Academy of Orthodontists, the cost of braces for children typically starts around $5,000 if you have to pay out-of-pocket.

On the other hand, adult braces and tray treatments like Invisalign are generally not covered by insurance. The cost of braces for adults can range from $5,000 to $7,000. However, Innovative Dental and Orthodontists offer financing options to help make these treatments more affordable for adults.

Now that You Understand What Braces Do for Your Teeth, What's Next?

Now that you're familiar with how braces function, what's your next step? Seize the moment to address your misaligned teeth! Take action today by scheduling an appointment with the skilled professionals at Innovative Dental and Orthodontics. We're eager to explore the most suitable treatment plan for you. Reach out to us now at (407) 809-8973 or conveniently book your appointment online. Your journey to a straighter, healthier smile begins here!


By the conclusion of the initial month, you might observe slight shifts in the positioning of your teeth. Subsequently, with each adjustment session for your braces, further gradual movement of your teeth will occur. Over the course of several months, you'll witness significant changes, potentially noticeable to acquaintances, as your teeth continue to adjust.
Once phase one treatments have been recommended, the optimal age for getting braces falls between 10 and 14 years. This age range not only ensures faster and simpler treatment but also grants children the opportunity to experience the benefits of a beautiful smile and improved chewing and swallowing well into adulthood.

While braces can indeed influence the appearance of your jawline, chin, mouth shape, and even lips, it's essential to understand that these changes are secondary to their primary purpose: realigning your teeth and correcting your bite. Braces work gradually and subtly to adjust your jawline and tooth alignment. While they can contribute to a tighter jawline and straighter teeth, these transformations occur gradually and may not be immediately noticeable.
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