How Do Braces Work: Dr. Grussmark Explains

Braces From Our Miami Orthodontist

Dr. Stephen Grussmark, a top-rated Miami Orthodontist, has over 30 years of the year of experience in the orthodontics field. At his practice, the Centre for Invisible Braces, he offers various orthodontic treatments to ensure that each patient can achieve a straighter smile, no matter what issues they may be facing. 

While there are various traditional braces alternatives out there today, braces are still widely used for straightening teeth. However, do you know how braces work? Dr. Grussmark explains the science behind braces.

teenager with braces

What Are Braces?

Braces are an orthodontic treatment that uses a system of brackets, wires, and other components to apply gentle and continuous pressure to the teeth. This pressure helps move the teeth into their proper position and correct numerous orthodontic problems. 

Braces are made from different materials, such as metal, ceramic, or plastic, and can be customized to meet the individual needs of each patient. The length of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the orthodontic problems being treated and can range from 18 to 24 months or longer.

How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Braces apply constant and gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws to gradually move them into their desired position. This process is achieved by attaching brackets to the teeth, which are then secured in place by the archwire. The archwire, in turn, applies pressure on the teeth, causing them to move over time.

Teeth are surrounded by periodontal ligaments, which connect them to the jawbone and help keep them in place. As the teeth move, these ligaments can stretch or compress to accommodate the changes. For instance, if a tooth moves to the right, the ligament on the right side compresses while new bone forms on the left side to fill the gap. This process continues until the teeth are in their correct position, resulting in a straighter, more aligned smile.

What Problems Can Braces Fix?

Braces treat various orthodontic problems, including:

  • Crooked or Crowded Teeth: These are difficult to clean, leading to tooth decay and gum disease
  • Overbites or Underbites: Cause issues with the bite and chewing
  • Crossbites: Can lead to uneven wear on the teeth
  • Gaps Between Teeth: Lead to problems with the bite and cause cosmetic concerns
  • Misaligned Jaws: Can cause pain, headaches, and other issues.

Fortunately, with braces and the many other orthodontic options available today, patients can correct their smile misalignment for better oral health and appearance.

The Components of Braces


Archwire is a thin, metal wire that runs through the brackets on each tooth. It applies gentle pressure to the teeth, helping to move them into their desired position. Over time, the archwire is replaced with thicker wires to continue applying pressure and moving the teeth.


Brackets are small metal or ceramic pieces attached to each tooth using a special adhesive. The archwire runs through the brackets, and they work together to apply pressure to the teeth. Brackets come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate different types of teeth and orthodontic problems.

Elastic Bands

Elastic bands are small rubber bands that apply additional pressure to the teeth. They’re often used to correct bite problems, such as overbites or underbites. The bands stretch between the upper and lower brackets, and they apply pressure to move the teeth into their proper position.

Metal Bands

Metal bands, also known as orthodontic bands, are thin metal rings placed around the molars to provide additional support for the braces. The bands are cemented to the teeth and have small hooks that the archwire attaches to.


A-chains, also known as elastic chains, are thin, stretchy bands used to close gaps between the teeth. The chains are stretched between the brackets and apply continuous pressure to move the teeth closer together.


After braces are removed, a retainer is worn to help maintain the new position of the teeth. Retainers can be removable or fixed in place and can be customized to fit the patient’s teeth. Retainers are typically worn for several months to several years, depending on the patient’s needs.

How Long Does It Take to See Results?

The length of time it takes to see results with braces can vary depending on the severity of the orthodontic problems being treated. Most patients wear braces for 18 to 24 months, but some cases may take longer. The duration of treatment also depends on the patient’s age, as younger patients often respond more quickly to treatment.

Braces are only one part of the orthodontic treatment process. Patients will also need to wear retainers after their braces are removed to help maintain the position of their teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are braces painful?

It’s common for patients to experience some discomfort or soreness in the first few days after their braces are placed or adjusted. This discomfort is usually mild and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

Can I still brush and floss normally with braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. It can be challenging to clean between the brackets and wires, so patients may need to use special tools, such as interdental brushes or floss threaders, to effectively clean their teeth.

Do braces work for everyone?

While braces are an effective treatment option for most people, they may not be suitable for everyone. Your orthodontist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine if braces are the best option for you, and may recommend alternative treatments if necessary.

How often will I need to see my orthodontist during my treatment?

The frequency of your orthodontic appointments will depend on the type of braces you have and the stage of your treatment. On average, patients with traditional braces will need to visit their orthodontist every four to six weeks for adjustments.

Are Braces Right for You? Find Out From Our Miami Orthodontist

If you’re considering braces, make sure to work with an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Stephen Grussmark, who can help you achieve the best possible results. If you’re located in Miami, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, or the surrounding areas, consider contacting Dr. Grussmark’s office to schedule your free consultation.

Stephen Grussmark