Braces are a common orthodontic procedure used to straighten teeth and correct bite problems. But many people have questions about this treatment. How do braces work? How long will I need them? What alternatives are available? We’ve put together a guide to answer some of the most common braces-related questions so that you can make an informed decision about your oral health needs. 

How Do Braces Work? 

Braces use brackets, archwires, and elastics to gradually move teeth into their correct positions. The brackets are attached to each tooth, and the wires connect all the brackets together. This creates gentle pressure on the teeth to move them into place. Every few weeks, the wire is adjusted so that the pressure continues until all of the teeth are in their desired positions. Depending on your situation, you may need traditional metal braces or ceramic braces which blend in with your natural tooth color. 

How Long Will I Need Braces? 

The length of time needed for braces varies from person to person and depends on how severe your condition is. Generally speaking, adults need braces for an average of 18 months while teenagers require 24 months or more depending on how well they comply with instructions for taking care of their braces and following good oral hygiene habits. Your orthodontist will be able to provide more detailed information about how long you will need braces based on your circumstances. 

What Alternatives Are Available? 

In addition to traditional metal or ceramic braces, there are several other options for straightening teeth including Invisalign aligners, lingual braces (which attach behind rather than in front of the teeth), clear aligners (similar to Invisalign but less expensive), and self-ligating braces which use clips instead of elastic bands to hold the archwire against each bracket. Your orthodontist can help you determine which option is best suited for your particular situation.  

Straightening teeth with braces is a common way to improve one’s smile and overall oral health, but you must understand how they work before making any decisions about whether or not they’re right for you. We hope this article has helped answer some of your questions about getting braces so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your individual needs and lifestyle. If you still have any unanswered questions, be sure to ask your orthodontist who will be happy to answer any remaining concerns that you may have!

Interested in getting straighter teeth, but don’t want to manage braces? See how Invisalign can help you at Farley Orthodontics!

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