How Braces Work to Straighten Your Teeth

In order to help you make the right decision as to which orthodontic treatment plan works for you, we put together this extensive guide to understanding how braces work to straighten your teeth. Find out what your family can expect with this orthodontic treatment solution.

Traditional braces date back to the 18th century by French dentist Pierre Fauchard as a method of straightening teeth. Over the years, orthodontists have enhanced the experience of wearing braces to create a process that uses constant, gentle pressure that moves the teeth into their proper positions over time.



With traditional braces, we use multiple tools to straighten your teeth:


  • A bracket is an individual ceramic or metal “brace” that affixes to each of your teeth with dental glue.
  • The archwire is a small metal wire that goes through the brackets to apply gentle pressure and move your teeth into the correct alignment.
  • Elastic ties are used to hold the archwire to the brackets. The ties come in many colors, and you can switch up your colors each time you visit the orthodontist.
  • Rubber bands are used in cases that require slightly more pressure to straighten teeth.The bands hook from brackets on the upper teeth to brackets on the lower teeth.
  •  Additional tools, such as tubes, hooks, loops, springs, steel ties, and bite correctors, are sometimes used in special cases. If these are necessary for your treatment, our office will ensure you understand exactly what’s happening every step of the process.


Braces apply constant pressure against your teeth to encourage your bones to begin adapting so they will hold your teeth in alignment for the rest of your life.


Bone remodeling works through the use of brackets and archwire, which align each tooth into its proper position. As your teeth shift into their new positions, we tighten your brackets in order to apply pressure and consistently move your teeth into the correct alignment.


Once we determine that your teeth have moved into the correct spot, we give you retainers to hold the teeth in place. With proper retainer wear, your new smile will last you a lifetime!



It typically takes 3-5 days for the bone remodeling process to start once your traditional braces are in place. You may feel sore for the first few days as your teeth adjust. After the process gets started, it will take about three months to begin remodeling the bone, and it typically takes 1-3 years to fully stabilize the new bone and build your new smile.


At Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics, you can choose from two types of braces for your teeth:

1. Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that are connected by a thin archwire. The combination of brackets and wire work together to align your teeth into the right alignment. The elastics come in all kinds of colors that you can swap out at each appointment.

2. Clear Braces

Clear braces are extremely similar to metal braces, except the brackets are created from a transparent material instead of metal. This transparent material is much less noticeable than metal braces.


Before visiting an orthodontist for the first time, you may be wondering, “How much do braces cost?” Because there is no standard process for orthodontic treatment, it’s difficult to put a number on the cost of metal braces. Because each case is different and requires its own unique plan depending on the length of treatment, insurance coverage, and goals of treatment, we recommend having a consultation first. 


At Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics, we give our patients the choice between traditional braces and Invisalign without adding any extra fees for Invisalign. In each case, your initial consultation, exam and x-rays are complementary as we strive to ensure affordable options for each patient.


If you’re wondering how to pay for braces, we offer custom financing options and monthly payments for braces that fit your unique situation so that financing doesn’t become an obstacle to achieving a healthy, beautiful smile. We strongly believe that traditional braces are worth it and that paying less for inexpensive braces may not give you the result you are looking for.

Foods You Can Eat With Braces

Ready for the goods news? Here’s a list of great food options you can easily enjoy while wearing braces:

Soft Fruits, like blueberries, grapefruits, nectarines, kiwi, bananas, grapes, and tangerines Steamed Vegetables (steamed for softness) Dairy Products, like yogurt and cheese Soft Grains and Noodles, like mac and cheese, cooked ravioli, quinoa, and rice Soft Meats, like tender chicken, turkey, meat loaf, lunch meat, and seafood Eggs, which are a good alternative to tough meats Desserts, like pudding, applesauce, smoothies, and ice cream Soft Breads, like tortillas, biscuits, muffins, pancakes Snacks, like soft crackers or cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and hulless popcorn

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