If you have crooked teeth or teeth that don’t line up properly, it is possible that wearing braces can fix the problem. Usually, an orthodontist will handle patients who need braces due to misalignment.

Initial Exam

The process begins with a visit to the orthodontist, where you will undergo a routine exam and have impressions of your mouth taken. We might also take photos or X-rays of your teeth. The orthodontist can then study your situation to figure out the best way to treat your dental issues.

Sometimes, a patient needs a retainer and nothing else. In extreme cases, a patient may need surgery to correct a major overbite. Most of the time, braces are the solution.


If you have teeth that aren’t crowding together, you might qualify for “mini-braces,” which are quite a bit smaller and less obvious than normal braces. These work just like regular braces but utilize a retainer.

How Braces Work

There are a number of different types of braces suited to handle different kinds of situations. The basic principle behind braces is to secure the teeth in position to pressure them into growing in a specific direction. As your teeth slowly shift over a long period of time, the underlying bone will adjust to accommodate the new alignment. Braces are made up of a few different components:


Brackets are small, rectangular items that are affixed to each of your teeth. Sometimes they are attached using a bonding agent, other times they are held in place by wires. Some brackets are made of metal, while others are made of ceramic. In general, patients prefer ceramic brackets because they are white and less noticeable. In some cases, brackets are actually affixed to the back of the teeth, making them completely unnoticeable.

Orthodontic Bands

Orthodontic bands wrap around each tooth and are used to help keep the brackets in position. These bands can be made of a number of different substances. Some of them are actually clear. In general the clear bands cost more than bands made of metal.

How Long Will I Wear Braces For?

Once your braces in, they will be in there for quite a while. Each case is different depending on the complexity of your dental situation. The further your teeth need to travel, the longer your braces will be in. You can shorten this amount of time by being sure to follow instructions and keeping up with maintenance. Generally, braces remain in the mouth of a given patient anywhere from 1 to 3 years. Once the braces come out, you will need to wear a retainer day and night for about six months. After that, you’ll need to wear the retainer at night for a period of years.

Routine Monthly Check-ups

Once your braces are in, you will need to visit your orthodontist each month to make sure that the braces are doing their job. Often, we will need to make adjustments to make sure that there is a proper amount of tension. If there is no tension, then your teeth aren’t going to be corrected. In some cases you might need to wear headgear at night to make sure the braces are effective.

Will it Hurt?

Getting braces might seem scary, but there isn’t much pain involved. In the beginning, you mouth might feel sore and it could take you a few weeks to adjust. Aspirin might be needed for the first week. If there is any kind of severe or long-lasting pain, contact us right away.

If you think that you or someone you love might benefit from braces, call us for a consultation today!

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