How Do Braces Work?

Your initial goal for having braces might be aesthetic. Our experts in New England Orthodontic Specialists ensure that your braces don’t only give you a pretty smile but more importantly, you achieve maximum dental health with it. Braces accomplish both goals by allowing the body’s natural process to align and straighten teeth and your correct bite. How does it happen?

The Components of Braces

So, it has been decided that braces are necessary for you. You should expect that the process of placing the braces would probably take one to two hours. The first step is cleaning and drying your teeth. Then, the components will be placed one by one.

A special dental bonding glue will be applied to your teeth, and then the brackets. These are the small metal (can be ceramic or plastic) squares attached to your teeth. The brackets are connectors of your teeth to the archwire. After all the brackets are attached on all teeth, the archwire is placed and is secured with elastic bands or ligature. The archwire is a key component because it is the track that the teeth follow.

There are other components might be added, but these basic components help explain how braces work.

How Your Teeth Respond to Braces

The pressure from the archwire mostly creates the changes in your mouth. The other components, like the dental glue, brackets and the ligatures ensure that the wire connects to the teeth and that each tooth rotates correctly.

The pressure is from the characteristic of the wire. It’s malleable in a way that it deforms easily to the shape of your teeth, yet it mechanically deflects back to the wire’s original shape. As the archwires push to return to its original shape, the teeth are brought to a better position with it.

The permanent changes to your teeth’s position are from your bone’s natural response to pressure. The pressure is not only applied on your teeth, but also to the periodontal ligament, the gum tissue around the root of the teeth which triggers bone response. The natural response to pressure is to create new bones on where the tooth used to be and to reabsorb the bone where the tooth is going to be. Constant pressure is necessary to develop this tooth movement.

Frequent visits to our office would be necessary to make sure that the braces are exerting constant pressure on your teeth. Other braces components might be necessary to increase pressure, depending on your case.

Once your teeth have achieved the desired position, your braces may be removed. However, the orthodontic treatment may continue with the retainer. After removing the constant pressure from the braces, the teeth tend to go back to pretreatment position. The retainer is essential for maintaining and setting the new teeth alignment.

Visit us at New England Orthodontic Specialists or call (978) 922-3462 for more information about braces and other teeth alignment options and know whether this is the orthodontic treatment for you.


497 Cabot St
Beverly, MA 01915-2537


15 Main St.
Topsfield, MA 01983

Call Us:

(978) 922-3462

Office Hours:

Mon - 8:00 - 5:00
Tues - Closed
Wed - 8:00 - 5:00
Thurs - 8:00 - 5:00
Fri - 8:00 - 4:00