How Do Braces Work?

For centuries, people have turned to braces to get a straighter, more even smile. Fortunately, the technology behind braces has advanced over the years, allowing today’s dentists to deliver faster results with less discomfort. 

At Livonia Family Smiles, Dr. Aziza Askari, Dr. Emad Hajar, and Dr. Sophia El Muradi want to provide leading-edge, smile-straightening treatment and help their patients understand how braces work — and the variety of options that exist today. With that goal in mind, here’s your quickstart guide to braces.

Understanding how braces work

You’ve probably seen how even a tiny drip of water can eventually wear away stone, if given enough time. Braces work similarly, applying even, gradual pressure over multiple months. This slowly shifts the teeth in your jaw to their proper positions.

First, let’s look at how traditional braces work. In order to reposition each tooth and give you the straightest smile possible, your dentist first affixes a metal bracket to the front of each tooth. Then, they connect the brackets to an archwire. 

You get one archwire for each arch. So, for example, if you’re getting both top and bottom braces, you’ll have an archwire for your top teeth and a second one for your bottom teeth.

The archwire is a stiff wire that’s specially shaped for your mouth. When the brackets on your teeth are attached to it, it can gently guide the brackets into alignment along the wire. This brings all of your teeth into position over time.

This is just the basics. Dr. Askari, Dr. Hajar, or Dr. Muradi may also add specific components to your braces to give you the best smile results. That could include spacers to give you more room around your molars or a spring along your archwire to push crowded teeth apart. Our team lets you know what your mouth might need to get your ideal results.

We can also talk with you about your options for smile straightening beyond traditional braces.

Other options for your teeth

Our team at Livonia Family Smiles also offers two innovative teeth-straightening treatments to shorten your time in braces or to make them an easier addition to your life.


Fastbraces do exactly what they sound like: deliver straighter teeth faster. With high-performance bracket systems designed to get your teeth moving to their proper positions more quickly, Fastbraces can work in anywhere from 65 to 152 days.


If you want straighter teeth without a mouthful of metal, these clear, plastic aligners are for you. Invisalign aligners are removable so you can eat, play sports, and give presentations at work with greater comfort, too.

Ultimately, when it comes to getting your dream smile, you have options. To learn more about which is right for you, call our office in Livonia, Michigan, to schedule your appointment today. 

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