How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Beginning your smile journey is a huge step in your oral health. Dr. Clauss and the Clauss Orthodontics team are passionate about educating patients on the importance of oral health and understanding how each step works. Whether you are at the start of your braces journey or are interested in learning more about this appliance, we are here to share how braces straighten your teeth, each component, and the average cost of your appliances.

The Process of Realignment

Orthodontists have used braces’ incredible power to straighten teeth into their ideal position for many years. This allows for the stunning aesthetics of a perfect smile and the many health benefits that follow, such as smooth digestion, easy oral maintenance, and reduced jaw pain. The small but mighty appliance is able to solve issues such as malocclusion, bite complications, crowded teeth, and much more.

Braces place constant slight pressure on your teeth, controlled by the archwire, in different directions. You will undergo three phases during treatment: level and alignment, bite adjustments, and fine-tuning. At each appointment, Dr. Clauss and our team will adapt your treatment plan and tighten your appliance when necessary as we see how your teeth react. Over time, they will shift into their new position and establish new roots due to the pressure.

The Components of Braces

Braces are an effective appliance, thanks to each carefully crafted component working together to achieve your smile goals. Let’s cover the pieces that make up braces and help Clauss Orthodontics provide high-quality care. 


The small square pieces glued to the front of your teeth are known as brackets. Brackets act as an anchor for other components, like the archwire, and help control the pressure applied to each tooth.


This thin wire is threaded through each bracket and controls much of the pressure spread across your mouth. The gentle pressure the archwire presses against your teeth can be adjusted during follow-up appointments to ensure they are being pushed in the right direction.


The brackets are secured to your teeth with a special orthodontic glue. This adhesive is designed to be removed with the right tools so your appliance removal appointment goes smoothly but remains intact throughout treatment.  


If a section of your teeth needs an extra push toward realignment, Dr. Clauss uses elastics to guide them. They come in various sizes and strengths to fit each case and attach to the hooks on the front of your brackets to place the right amount of pressure on specific teeth.

Additional Parts

Orthodontic Bands

Though not used for everyone, orthodontic bands are stainless steel rings attached to individual teeth with adhesive. They serve as an additional anchor for elastics to hook onto and assist with bite issues.


Also known as separators, spacers are small components used to create space between two teeth as needed. They are usually placed before the bands and are in the shape of small rings.

How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Your Choice of Appliance

Metal Braces

Known for their reliability and strength, metal braces continue to be a popular option for our patients. Although they have been around for years, they have much improved. They use sleeker brackets and thinner wires, helping you avoid irritation as much as possible. Metal braces can resolve any simple or complex oral issue you are dealing with. This appliance doesn’t use the same advanced technology that other options do to get the job done, so it remains a cost-effective choice for many patients.

Clear Braces

A nearly invisible appliance, clear braces offer an aesthetic alternative many older teens and adults opt for. They use tooth-colored brackets, so you receive the effectiveness of metal braces while having them blend in with your smile’s appearance. Thanks to their stain-resistant technology, you can drink your morning coffee or tea without worries! Clear braces similarly resolve mild to severe alignment issues. 

Do Braces Hurt?

Luckily, braces do not hurt! Our team does everything possible to ensure you feel comfortable during and after your appointments and provides you with 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. Please let us know if you begin to feel prolonged discomfort or pain so we can help you.

The Cost of an Appliance

The cost of treatment considers the following factors: appliance choice, anticipated length of treatment, what work is to be accomplished, follow-up appointments, and post-treatment retainers. While we can’t provide an exact number for each patient before seeing their teeth, below are the average costs of our available treatments. 

Metal Braces: Full treatment costs between $3,000 and $7,000.

Clear Braces: Full treatment costs between $4,000 and $8,000. 

When you come in for your free consultation, Dr. Clauss will be able to provide you with a complete rundown of your anticipated costs and answer any questions you have. If you plan to use dental insurance, our team can help file your claim and figure out what it will cover. 

How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Start the Realignment Process Today!

Now that you understand how braces work, we hope you feel confident in beginning your smile journey. Clauss Orthodontics is always happy to answer questions and address your concerns regarding treatment during or outside of appointments. We provide our expert orthodontics services to Watertown, Middlebury, and nearby communities. Schedule your free consultation with Dr. Clauss today!