How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Taking the first step toward orthodontic treatment can be intimidating, but Dudley Smiles ensures you feel confident before starting. We strive to educate our patients on the behind-the-scenes work that goes into braces, such as how they straighten your teeth. Our team will explain how each component functions to help you achieve your smile goals, our treatment options, and average expected costs.

Understanding the Role of Each Brace Element

Braces comprise multiple components that work together to achieve your smile goals. This powerful appliance works effectively thanks to Dr. Dudley‘s expertise. Let’s cover each piece and how they shift your teeth into place. 


Brackets are small square components placed on the front of teeth. They anchor other pieces and ensure the right amount of pressure is applied in the right places.


To ensure your brackets stay in place throughout treatment, a special bonding cement is used to glue them on the front of your teeth. After getting them placed, it may feel as though they are permanently stuck, but this adhesive is made to be removed with the right tools. 


Typically used for those with bite issues or whose teeth need an extra push in the right direction, elastics are attached to the hooks of your brackets. They are made of different sizes and strengths to match each patient’s unique case.


Completing the bulk of alignment work, the archwire is weaved through each bracket on your teeth to apply gentle, calculated pressure across your mouth. It may be adjusted or tightened during follow-up appointments to ensure your teeth are pushed in the correct direction.

Additional Components

The above pieces are standard for traditional braces and are used in every treatment plan. Some components, such as orthodontic bands, are only used as necessary. Orthodontic bands are stainless steel rings glued onto molars, providing an extra anchor for elastics and other parts. 

Spacers are small rings that are placed between teeth to create extra space in cases of crowding. Also known as separators, they are typically utilized before bands so there is enough room to place the former. 

Lastly, ligatures attach the archwire to your brackets. They come in dozens of bold and muted colors to match your aesthetic preferences. Some brace appliances do not require them, but Dr. Dudley will let you know which of your choices do.

How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

An Overview of Braces

As mentioned, each element that composes your braces is essential in helping you achieve your smile goals. This appliance can resolve many oral issues, including malocclusion, crowding, spacing, and bite complications. 

Many believe that braces are all about making your smile look nice. While this is an excellent treatment benefit, straightening your teeth can also support your general health, like assisting with digestion, jaw or neck pain, and migraines.

How Do They Straighten Teeth?

As each component works together, constant slight pressure is placed on your teeth and gums over a long period to help them reach their ideal alignment. The soft tissue surrounding your teeth is altered as they move and adjust to a new position to protect your oral health. Your teeth move with or without an appliance, so we use braces to guide them along the right path. 

Using the Latest Technology in Placement

Dudley Smiles prioritizes staying abreast of the latest orthodontic technology to provide patients with the most effective and efficient treatment methods. We use the iTero element scanner to create a detailed 3D model of each patient’s teeth to help us determine the best placement and make custom appliances. Our practice also uses diode laser treatment and mini implants to help speed up tooth movement and treatment times.

Our Treatment Options

Metal Braces

Metal braces are likely what you imagine when you think of braces. They have been around for years and remain a reliable treatment option for countless orthodontic patients yearly. This now-modern appliance uses sleeker brackets and slimmer wires to help you avoid irritation inside your mouth throughout treatment. 

Thanks to advancements in the field, metal braces can fix any oral issue, no matter how complex. They tend to be cost-effective because they don’t use the same advanced equipment as other appliances.

Clear Braces

For those interested in a less conspicuous appearance throughout treatment, clear braces are a nearly invisible appliance that many older teens and adults opt for. They use tooth-colored brackets and other components to blend in with your smile so you can confidently show off your teeth’ progress. 

They use the same effective technology as their metal counterpart. Clear braces are also stain-resistant, allowing you to continue drinking your morning coffee or enjoying a glass of wine without worrying about your brackets changing colors.

Do They Hurt? 

Luckily, braces do not hurt! Our team does everything possible to ensure you feel comfortable during and after your appointments and provides the resources and tools you need to succeed. You may feel short-term discomfort as your teeth adjust to the presence of your appliance or after tightenings, but this will go away by itself over time.

Cost of Treatment

You can find the average prices of our braces appliances without insurance below:

Full treatment costs between $4,000 and $7,500. 

If you plan on using dental insurance to cover your orthodontic treatment’s full or partial cost, Dr. Dudley and our team will be happy to discuss its role. Our team strives to keep high-quality care an option for everyone in our community. We will walk you through a rundown of expenses during your free consultation, so no surprises await you later.

How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Join the Dudley Smiles Family Today!

Dr. Dudley and our team’s top priority is your comfort throughout care and your confidence in the treatment you receive. Should any questions or concerns arise outside of an appointment, our front desk staff will ensure you get the answers you need. Dudley Smiles provides orthodontic services to Issaquah, WA, and the surrounding communities. Schedule your free consultation today and get started on your brand-new smile!