How Do Braces Work?

Providing smiles for all, Selden Orthodontics believes everyone should have the chance to work towards a straighter smile and better health. We understand the experience can be intimidating, but our job is to help make your time with us feel like a breeze! Whether looking for yourself or a loved one, you have landed in the right place. We are here to help you better understand what braces are and how they work, our available options, and the components that allow realignment to work its magic.


The Basics of Braces

Braces are an orthodontic device placed directly on the teeth to correct and align the teeth and jaw. They provide functional and aesthetic benefits, improving oral health and alignment, and enhancing your smile’s appearance. Though typically associated with teenage years, patients of all ages can get braces and take the first step in improving their smile, receiving equally effective results across the board.

What Complications Are Treated?

Able to treat many complex orthodontic issues, braces are your solution when it comes to fixing crowded or gapped teeth, malocclusion, bite complications, jaw pain, and many more. No matter the problem you are facing, treatment can be customized to meet your particular needs to wear a healthier smile. 


The Realignment Process

During your free consultation, Dr. Selden and our team will create your unique treatment plan and decide the best arrangement for your braces to shift your teeth in the right direction efficiently. After settling on the appliance best for you and your case, we will begin working on your appliance. Braces place continuous slight pressure on your teeth controlled by the brackets placed on them and the archwire threaded through.

Throughout care, slight adjustments are made by Dr. Selden to keep in check the amount of pressure being placed so as not to move them too far in one direction. Over the next one to three years, you will slowly be able to notice your teeth and jaw straightening out. At the end of treatment, you can anticipate a complete change in your smile and overall self-esteem!  


Different Kinds of Braces


A popular choice for older teens and adults, clear braces offer a nearly invisible option for patients interested in braces treatment without showing them off too much. They are made of ceramic brackets that match the color of your teeth, so you get the effectiveness of metal braces while having them blend in with your appearance, allowing you to undergo treatment with confidence. These braces are typically worn between one to two years before completing treatment.


A long-trusted treatment, traditional metal braces are known for their reliability, effective realignment process, and power to fix just about any orthodontic issue. No longer the bulky and uncomfortable appliance it was, these are as sleek and light as they come. Metal braces continue to be a popular choice among our patients thanks to orthodontic advancements. While the length of treatment depends on each case, you can expect to wear them for about one to two years.


A great middle option between clear and metal, champagne braces provide a discreet appearance on your teeth with champagne-colored ligatures and gold wires during treatment, so you don’t have to worry about your appliance being too noticeable. They are a studier option to clear braces and an aesthetic one to metal; champagne braces are great to blend in with your smile while still receiving effective results. Treatment takes up to three years to complete and achieve your smile goals.


How Do Braces Work?

The Anatomy of Braces 


Brackets are the square components affixed to the front surface of each tooth, applying controlled pressure on your teeth and serving as anchor points for other pieces. They are placed to keep the archwire in the correct position and may require adjustments throughout your treatment.


This is the long piece of wire you see threaded through your brackets. It does much of the work to align your teeth correctly and may be adjusted during appointments to ensure it pushes your teeth in the right direction.


In many situations, elastics are rubber bands used when Dr. Selden needs to apply extra pressure to a particular area of your teeth. They simply attach to the upper and lower brackets to shift the jaw. They come in various sizes and strengths so as not to push a tooth farther than it needs to go.


Bands are attached to your back molars and used as an anchor for the archwire. This metal piece is custom-made to fit over your teeth as comfortably as possible. They are not used for all patients but can significantly benefit your case if our team deems it necessary.


Given to all of our patients at the end of your treatment with us, retainers are the most important part of your new post-care routine. They ensure your teeth stay in their newly aligned position, so your new smile doesn’t go anywhere!

Imaging Resources


Used to provide an extremely detailed look at how your teeth and jaw bones interact, x-rays are a vital tool our team uses to create your unique treatment plan. It helps us keep track of your shifting alignment and pinpoint impacted teeth to help us better provide care. 

iTero Element Scanner 

The iTero Element Scanner is a state-of-the-art laser scanner that allows us to see an advanced view of your teeth and gums, eliminating the need for goopy impressions. We use the information it gives us to decide where your braces should be placed on your teeth and ensure you get a beautiful smile.


How Do Braces Work?

Your Smile Transformation Starts With You!

Dr. Selden and everyone here at Selden Orthodontics are here to help make your smile journey a smooth experience. We ensure each of our patients leaves our office at the end of treatment more confident than when they first walked in. You can contact our Huntersville or Charlotte practice locations to schedule your free consultation by calling 704-452-4199. The first step starts with you!