How Do Traditional Braces Work?

November 12, 2019

Are you thinking about getting braces but are unsure about how they work? Braces are used to correct imperfect teeth, close unwanted gaps, and straighten smiles. Traditional braces have metal brackets that link together with an archwire. The archwire is held together by small, round elastics that realign teeth using a small amount of pressure over a period of time.

Braces are used to realign teeth to provide people with the stunning smile they’ve always wanted. They can also close large gaps and make dental hygiene easier over time. Learn more about traditional braces below to see if they are the right orthodontic treatment option for you!


What Can Traditional Braces Fix?

Braces are a proven and effective method to straighten crooked teeth and help with a variety of oral health problems such as malocclusions—a fancy word for imperfect or crooked teeth. Braces can fix:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Crowded teeth
  • Gaps

In addition to aligning your bite, having braces actually comes with several other health advantages! A properly aligned bite can help:

  • Limit toothaches and soreness caused by an uneven bite
  • Reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease
  • Correct speech impediments
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Prevent the need for future dental work

It’s important to meet with an orthodontist to learn about all your options and select the proper treatment for you. If you are considering braces, schedule a free consultation with us! At Smile Ranch, we offer all major orthodontic treatments from traditional braces to Invisalign. Check out this chart if you’d like to compare treatment options at Smile Ranch.

What Are Braces Made Out Of?

Braces are made up of small, metal brackets secured to the front of each tooth using special dental glue. They are typically connected by a single archwire across all brackets. Ligatures (tiny elastic bands) help hold the archwire onto the brackets. The brackets apply a small amount of continuous pressure and gently realign your teeth for a straighter smile.

Generally, the archwire and brackets are stainless steel. Clear and ceramic options are also available at a greater cost. These options, while not as durable as metal brackets, are more subtle than traditional braces, making it possible to smile wide without worrying about the appearance of braces.


What Other Appliances Are Used With Braces?

Along with braces, there are a number of small appliances and things that orthodontists use to create a more effective treatment, such as spacers, springs, or rubber bands. Spacers are separators placed between teeth to push particularly close teeth apart. Springs can be used to create a gap wide enough for a tooth or to close a gap after a tooth was removed.

In some cases, elastic rubber bands will be necessary to fix your bite. While the archwire straightens your teeth, rubber bands can align your jaw. These bands attach to hooks and connect the top and bottom brackets. Increased pressure caused by the bands moves your jaw to fix a number of bite problems.

Read More: Rubber Bands and Braces: A Quick Guide

What to Expect with New Braces

The best thing you can do while you have braces is to take care of your teeth. Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings to prevent permanent stains. You should also schedule an appointment with your orthodontist every six to eight weeks to check on your treatment’s progress.

Some soreness is common as your teeth adjust to having braces. Generally, over-the-counter pain relievers can help. If you feel that the pain is too much, reach out to your orthodontist for possible adjustment.

There are certain foods you won’t be able to eat like apples or popcorn. Try to stay away from anything super sticky or gummy. It will all be worth it when you get your braces off!


What if a bracket becomes loose? It’s not uncommon for brackets to come loose during treatment—they aren’t meant to last forever. If a bracket does break or comes loose, schedule an appointment with us and we’ll get you back on track.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, traditional braces are still the most common treatment option for bite issues. Most of the time, braces are worn anywhere from one to three years, but everyone is different. Your orthodontics team will keep you updated on your treatment’s progress each time you go in for an appointment.

Read More: Brand New to Braces? Here’s What You Need to Know

How Much Do Traditional Braces Cost?

The cost of traditional braces depends on your orthodontist, your individual needs, and how long the treatment will take. Generally, certain treatments can be more costly than others due to high upfront costs, but Smile Ranch calculates costs differently. In fact, traditional braces can cost a similar amount to Invisalign®.

Find out more about the Smile Rance Difference.

Think You’re Ready for Braces?

Traditional braces can help correct several bite issues and we believe that traditional braces are a good option for everyone, including adults. Take our quiz to figure out if braces are the best option for you, or contact us to set up your free consultation! Let us show you the Smile Ranch Difference and help you on your way to a straighter smile.

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