How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Braces are a tried and tested method of bringing dream smiles to reality. You may have had braces growing up or know someone who did, but you may be asking yourself, ‘How do braces move teeth?’ At Razi Orthodontics, we’ve transformed countless smiles with braces, and we know a thing or two about how they work. So, let’s dive into your question and answer how braces move teeth, the journey with braces, and a few things to remember if you’ve already begun your treatment.

Breaking Down Braces

Braces are the backbone of any orthodontic treatment. Braces can handle some of the most challenging cases and still deliver some of the best results. The goal of braces is to provide consistent, gentle pressure on the teeth. This gradual force moves the teeth into their perfect position over time. 

Braces can be an option for any patient. From children to adults, braces can provide a solution to many orthodontic issues. However, braces for children and teenagers can be more effective than with adults due to early treatment benefiting from a still-growing jaw.

Braces are made up of two key components: the brackets and the archwire. These two work together to achieve that consistent movement of your teeth. 


We’ll place small metal or ceramic brackets directly on your teeth with specialized orthodontic glue. They act as the anchors for the archwire, allowing the wire to guide the teeth that need the movement.


The archwire is the guide for your teeth. The thin metal wire that goes through the brackets moves the teeth by applying force. We’ll adjust the archwire during your appointments to keep your smile on its path.

The Science

Your braces work on your periodontal ligaments. These ligaments connect your teeth to your jaw and allow the movement of your teeth while eating and chewing. When you have braces, the pressure put onto your teeth creates a biological response, adjusting the ligaments and remodeling the jawbone. This makes sure your teeth move safely and effectively.

What Issues Need Braces?

Smiles are unique, and so are the orthodontic challenges they face. At Razi Orthodontics, we review your smile and decide which approach to tackling its issue would be best. Braces can take on a lot of orthodontic challenges, but which are some of the most common?


Overcrowding is one of the most common challenges your smile can face. Overcrowding is where the teeth are too close together due to limited space in the jaw. It not only affects the appearance of your smile but can also lead to serious oral health issues. Teeth crowd together when there isn’t enough space in the jaw, leading to alignment problems.

Braces address overcrowding by gradually shifting the teeth into a straighter alignment, making the needed space. We can also use additional appliances, like expanders, to widen the jaw as well.

Overbites & Underbites 

An overbite is where the upper teeth don’t align neatly with the lower teeth. The upper teeth instead push forward in front of them. Overbites are a very common malocclusion, with many people having a slight overbite. However, a more severe overbite can lead to tooth decay, jaw pain, and even gum disease.

The more serious twin malocclusion is an underbite. An underbite is the opposite of an overbite, where the teeth extend over the top front teeth. It can happen if your lower jaw protrudes over your upper teeth, creating an underbite. About 5% to 10% of people have an underbite, ranging from mild to severe cases. Severe cases can bring problems such as intense jaw pain, dental issues, and even sleep apnea.

Braces come into play once again. They gradually shift the teeth either forward or backward, depending on the case. First, the archwire will straighten and align your teeth. Then, we’ll use elastics to shift the jawline into the right position. These small rubber elastics add an extra hand to apply the gradual pressure to craft your smile.

How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Additional Parts For Your Smile

Braces consist of brackets and an archwire, but we can add more pieces to achieve your dream smile.

Elastic Bands

Elastics are rubber bands that apply pressure to move the upper and lower teeth into alignment. Orthodontists can configure them in many different ways to meet your needs. You must wear elastics 24 hours a day and replace them 3-4 times a day to align your teeth.


Ligatures are small rubber bands that secure the archwire to the brackets. They keep constant pressure on your teeth and are often changed every visit during your treatment.


More rubber rings! We’ll place little elastic donuts between your teeth to make room before adding bands.


Springs are small metal coils placed on the archwire to apply force to specific teeth. They’re typically used for more complex cases such as overcrowding.

Molar bands

Dr. Razi may attach bands around your back molars when using orthodontic appliances, such as an expander.

How Do Braces Move Teeth?

Discover Your Smile at Razi Orthodontics

Whether you’re considering braces for yourself or a loved one, being in the now of your options makes the journey that much easier. At Razi Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to guiding you every step of the way. Schedule your free consultation today to begin a path to the smile you’ve always dreamed of in Wheaton and Naperville.