How Do Braces Work? Solving the Mystery of Tooth Alignment

Posted on November 8, 2023 | First Time

How Do Braces Work? Solving the Mystery of Tooth Alignment

It’s no surprise that braces can be a scary concept for anybody with crooked teeth. Will they hurt? Will they make it difficult to eat? Will they look silly? For as long as they’ve been around, there have been questions about braces. 

Luckily, the answers now are easier than they used to be. They are designed to reduce pain as much as possible, there are ways/foods to eat that make it easy to get all necessary nutrients, and beyond that, everybody’s getting them! Millions of children and teens have had or will have braces in their lifetime, so might as well get them over with. 

The Basics of Braces

Braces aren’t so scary when you can explain what they’re made of; there are three main parts—the brackets, the archwires, and the elastics. Each one serves its own role to help shift your teeth:

  • Brackets are small, square-shaped metal or ceramic pieces that attach to the surface of teeth. They serve as a solid base so the teeth can be connected by a wire.
  • Archwires are long, thin pieces of metal that thread through the brackets on a patient’s teeth. Typically there’s one on top and one on bottom, and they exert a constant pressure to help reshape one’s bite. 
  • Elastics, more often called “rubber bands,” are tiny elastic hoops that can be stretched around braces in the mouth. These are sometimes required to help correct more specific bite issues. 

Once the braces are in place, the orthodontist will adjust the archwire to pressure the patient’s teeth. They will use elastic bands of different sizes and strengths to retrain the jaw and create space for teeth to move. Sounds painful doesn’t it? Believe it or not, the process is actually quite gentle because it relies on force over time. Plus, there are some extra features to help lighten the load. 

Making Braces Your Own

The best part about braces is the smile they create. The second best part about braces is the ability to change their color. Here at Blossom, your child can choose from a variety of rubber bands to style their appliances how they want. Some patients choose their favorite color, others can’t decide and pick two, either way we support it. However, we are pretty partial to maize and blue (go UofM!). 

Leaning on Your Orthodontist

We understand that the promise of colored rubber bands might not be enough to convince your child that braces are beneficial—that’s where we come in. The level of care we provide at Blossom is one of a kind. Our orthodontic experts create personalized care plans that directly handle the needs of an individual. Plus, your kids will see the same staff they’ve been seeing for years for cleanings and dental treatment!

We strive to deliver remarkable results for anybody that walks through our door looking for treatment. Whether you have a stubborn child who’s never had any alignment work done before, or you yourself have recently discovered your teeth may be misaligned, we are happy to create a plan that matches the necessary comfort level while progressing towards the goal of a straight smile. 

It’s Never Too Late for a Beautiful Smile

Yes! You read that last sentence correctly; we also provide orthodontic treatment for adults. It doesn’t matter why you need treatment now. Maybe you didn’t have the resources when you were younger, maybe you already had braces, but didn’t wear your retainer (we won’t be mad), or maybe you just didn’t need them until now. Regardless of your motives, adult orthodontic treatment can solve a variety of issues:

  • Overcrowding
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Teeth gaps
  • Misaligned smile

New technologies like clear aligners have also made it easier to receive the care you need without drastically changing your appearance. 

Knowledge dispels fear.

It might be tough to send this article to your 7-year-old, but hopefully some of this information helped to paint the picture of how braces work. Orthodontic braces are often an essential step on the road to proper teeth alignment; helping your child understand what goes on behind the scenes can make them more confident throughout the process. 

Blossom Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics offers expert guidance and tailored care to all our patients, because we share the same goal: to find the smile that makes you smile (and hopefully do it before picture day). 


Note: The content provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult with one of our qualified orthodontic professionals for individualized orthodontic recommendations. 


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