Behind the Braces: Understanding How Orthodontics Work

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behind the braces understanding how orthodontics work

Orthodontics is a type of dentistry that fixes teeth and jaws that aren’t straight. It’s not just about making your smile look nice; it’s about ensuring your mouth functions well and stays healthy. Acquiring orthodontic treatment near you can fix problems like crooked teeth, overcrowding, overbites, underbites, and more.

Basics of Braces

Braces are a popular way to straighten teeth and fix how the teeth fit together when you bite. They comprise small pieces called brackets, wires, and bands that gently push the teeth into the right place over time. Braces can be made from metal, ceramic, or clear materials, making them a choice for people of any age.

Types of Braces

  • Traditional metal braces: These are the most common type of braces, made with metal brackets and wires. They work well and are suitable for people of all ages.
  • Ceramic braces: These are like metal braces but use tooth-colored ceramic materials, so they are not as easy to see.
  • Lingual braces: These braces are attached to the back of the teeth, making them almost hidden from view.
  • Invisalign: This is a popular choice instead of traditional braces. Invisalign involves clear, removable aligners that slowly straighten the teeth.

How Do Braces Work?

Braces are a common treatment for fixing crooked teeth and jaw alignment. They help make your teeth work better and look nicer. Here’s a simple explanation of the process of how braces work:

How They Move Teeth

  • Pressure application: Braces work by gently pushing on your teeth for a long time. This gentle pressure helps to slowly shift your teeth to where they should be.
  • Bone remodeling: The pressure exerted by the braces causes the bone in the jaw to remodel. The pressure stimulates the cells around the tooth (osteoblasts and osteoclasts) to reshape the bone. Osteoclasts break down bone tissue on the pressure side, and osteoblasts build new bone on the opposite side.
  • Direction of movement: During orthodontic visits, the archwires in braces can be changed and tightened to help move the teeth slowly. This careful process is designed specifically for each person’s teeth to get them into the right position over time.

Phases of Treatment

  • Initial phase: This is when you first get braces and start getting used to them. It’s when the wires and brackets are first put on your teeth.
  • Active phase: This is the longest part. It’s when you regularly go to the orthodontist to adjust your braces, usually every 4-6 weeks. These adjustments keep moving your teeth into the right place.
  • Retention phase: After your braces are removed, you enter this phase. You wear a retainer to make sure your teeth stay in their new positions. This is important because teeth can move back if you don’t use a retainer.

Timeline and Results

The time it takes for orthodontic treatment can differ depending on the situation, but it usually lasts one to three years. Patients must keep their teeth clean and attend all their appointments to get the best results. After treatment ends, people often wear retainers to prevent their teeth from returning to their former state.

Life with Braces

  • Dietary considerations: Avoid sticky candies and hard nuts, as they can harm your braces, causing brackets to break or wires to bend.
  • Managing discomfort: First, your teeth might feel uncomfortable adapting to the braces. You can use over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax to ease any soreness.
  • Maintaining oral hygiene: Brush your teeth after each meal and floss daily. This helps prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay, which is especially important with braces.


After your braces straighten teeth and are removed, you’ll probably need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in their new positions. Your orthodontist will tell you how to take care of your retainer and how often to wear it.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

  • Improved appearance: Straighter teeth can make your smile look better and make you feel more confident.
  • Better oral health: When your teeth are in the correct position, cleaning them properly is easier. This lowers the chance of gum disease, cavities, and other dental issues.
  • Enhanced bite function: Orthodontic treatment can fix problems with your bite, like overbites or underbites. This helps with chewing and speaking more comfortably.


Getting braces is a journey that can change your smile and your confidence. By learning how braces work and listening to your orthodontist, you can reach the smile you’ve always wanted.

Ready to transform your smile?

At Newmarket Orthodontics, we ensure each patient gets the right care. Our orthodontist in Newmarket uses the newest methods and tools to deliver effective results. We offer different treatments, like regular braces or clear aligners, so you can choose what works best for you. We aim to ensure you’re comfortable and happy during your orthodontic treatment.

Schedule a consultation today and take the first step toward a healthier, more confident smile!