How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Braces are a fantastic orthodontic tool for perfectly shaping your smile, but how exactly does this appliance move your teeth? Whether you are considering treatment or are in the middle of your smile journey, Mack Orthodontics is here to answer your braces-related questions. Read on to learn more about how braces function, the issues they treat, and what options we offer at our practice.

Understanding Each Component and Its Function


The small square components that sit on the front of your teeth are known as brackets. They anchor other parts in place to ensure pressure is placed in the right area.


An archwire is a long, thin wire that is threaded through your upper and lower brackets. It performs most of the alignment work and applies pressure throughout treatment to ensure your teeth move in the right direction.


Elastics are thin elastic bands attached to one upper and one lower bracket hook to apply extra pressure on teeth or jaws. They play a large part in bite correction treatment.


Brackets are attached to your teeth with bonding cement or orthodontic glue. Although they may feel permanent after your braces placement appointment, this glue is formulated to be easily removed with the right tools. 

Additional Components

The above pieces are required for your braces to function correctly, though some patients may need extra assistance to get their teeth on the right track. For example, orthodontic bands are stainless steel rings that provide an additional anchor for elastics. Ligatures are tiny rubber rings that secure the archwire to your brackets. Finally, spacers are small donut-shaped elastics placed between teeth to create space, typically used to place orthodontic bands.

How Do Braces Move Teeth?

How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Each component works together to make braces shift your teeth into the perfect position over a long period. The placement of brackets changes the effectiveness of your appliance as it communicates to your teeth in which direction they should be moved once pressure is placed. Dr. Mack determines it based on the diagnostic results from your free consultation, including x-rays and the detailed 3D model taken of your teeth. 

As mentioned, the archwire does most of the alignment work by placing measured pressure in different directions on your teeth and gums at all times. Dr. Mack adjusts and tightens it during follow-up appointments to ensure your teeth shift the right amount. As they align, your gum tissue and bones move with them and establish new roots once your final position is reached. 

Upon completing treatment, Dr. Mack will provide you with a retainer to wear as instructed. This final appliance ensures your teeth stay in place after removing your braces. If you wear your retainer as instructed, you can expect your brand-new smile to last forever!

How Long Are Braces Worn For?

The length of treatment varies between patients, fluctuating based on your chosen appliance, the work that needs to be accomplished, your age, and current oral health. On average, reaching your smile goals takes between one and three years. For some, it may take shorter or longer, depending on how complex your case is. During your free consultation, Dr. Mack can share how long he anticipates you wearing braces.

Orthodontics Issues Treated

Braces treat many orthodontic issues, including but not limited to overbites, underbites, crossbites, malocclusion, crowding, spacing, and a misaligned jaw. Some believe treatment is only for children and teens, but It is never too late to begin orthodontic treatment. While achieving your smile goals may take slightly longer, you can expect the same incredible results as an adult.

Treatment Options

Metal Braces

Metal braces are an excellent option for realigning your smile. This appliance has treated countless patients and remains popular due to its strength and reliability. It is able to withstand daily wear and tear and ensure your teeth shift to their ideal position. Metal braces can fix any complex orthodontic issue and are perfect for all ages.

LightForce Clear Braces

Patients who are interested in a more aesthetically appealing appliance may enjoy LightForce clear braces. Thanks to tooth-colored ceramic brackets and other white components, they appear nearly invisible, so you can continue smiling throughout treatment without worry! LightForce is a customized appliance that promises efficient results and lays comfortably on your teeth with minimal discomfort.

Average Cost

The cost of treatment varies from patient to patient, depending on factors like appliance choice, current oral health, age, and the amount of work to be accomplished. When you come in for a free consultation, Dr. Mack can provide a complete breakdown of your treatment cost and discuss the role of dental insurance for those who plan on using it. Metal braces are priced between $3,000 and $7,000 on average, while LightForce clear braces are priced between $4,000 and $8,000 on average. 

Mack Orthodontics provides flexible payment plans, including third-party care with CareCredit, for our patients to help make treatment as affordable as possible for everyone in our community. Our team will happily walk you through which plan best suits your budget when you come in during your free consultation.

How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Fix Your Smile Today!

We hope you now better understand the process of braces treatment and how they are able to move your teeth into perfect alignment. As always, our team is always happy to answer your questions as they come up. Mack Orthodontics provides expert orthodontic services to Burlington, Hillsborough, and the surrounding communities. Schedule your free consultation with Dr. Mack today and start aligning your smile!