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Closeup of smile with braces and bands

How Braces Work

Get a straight, Healthy Smile

If you’re not one of the very lucky individuals who are born with teeth the emerge from the gum line perfectly aligned and properly functioning, you’ll probably want to seek orthodontic treatment at some point to correct your misaligned and/or unevenly spaced teeth. For many people, that means using bracket and wire braces. If you’ve decided to get started with a traditional braces plan, your orthodontist in Marquette will start by explaining to you exactly how braces work, and specifically, the Orthodontic Specialists of Marquette will take the time to explain your specific treatment plan. Our goal is always to ensure you know exactly what will happen and feel 100% confident before we get started. If you want to learn more or schedule your orthodontic treatment consultation, contact us at our orthodontic practice in Marquette. Our orthodontist will carefully explain the process, answer your questions, and help you to feel prepared for every step of braces treatment.

What are the Components of Braces Treatment?

teen girl with braces

There are many different components that make up orthodontic treatments. Not every patient will need to utilize every one of these pieces. We’ll explain your specific treatment plan and the associated components during your planning appointment. Some of the common parts of traditional braces treatment include:

  • Brackets – the small pieces that are bonded to the front (or back) surfaces of teeth that will be used to place pressure on the tooth and shift it into the new position.
  • Wires – connect to brackets and can be adjusted to increase or decrease pressure on the tooth as necessary to move it into place.
  • Bands – go around the tooth to provide greater stability for the bracket and spread the pressure from wires out evenly for less discomfort during movement.
  • Elastics – bands used to place pressure that will shift the entire bite at once rather than individual teeth for those who are struggling with more advanced alignment concerns like over, under, and crossbite.

How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Last?

Your orthodontic plan will vary in length depending on your unique needs. However, most plans are completed in 18 to 36 months.

How Often do I Have to Visit the Orthodontist?

Young boy with braces

You will need to visit us at least once a month, so we can check your progress and make necessary adjustments to achieve your desired results within the original treatment schedule. These visits are typically fairly short, but they are important to ensure we can align your smile as planned.

Will Braces Hurt?

Because of the pressure on teeth, you are likely to experience some discomfort during your orthodontic alignment. Most people say the discomfort diminishes within 48 hours of their adjustment appointment. Additionally, most patients experience the greatest amount of discomfort in the early stages of treatment, and they will notice less discomfort in the later part of orthodontic treatment that requires more minute adjustments.

What Happens After My Braces are Off?

Teen girl with braces using water flosser

No matter what orthodontic treatment plan you follow, you’ll need to wear a retainer following treatment. These retainers hold your teeth in their new position while the tooth roots fuse with the underlaying bone and soft tissue. If you fail to wear your retainer as directed, your teeth may shift back out of position, leading to a need for orthodontic retreatment at a later date. In most cases, you will need to wear a retainer at all times for the first year or so after alignment. Then, we can begin reducing daily wear times.