How do Dentists Put Braces on Teeth?

Young Asian girl with bracesAt Markham Orthodontics, our top priority is helping our patients achieve a healthy smile that can increase their self-esteem. As adult and children’s orthodontists, Dr. David Markham and Dr. Steven Scott provide exceptional, gentle orthodontic care to patients in the Sacramento area. We offer traditional metal braces, clear bracket braces, and Invisalign® to help you attain a straighter smile. Our offices are conveniently located in Natomas, Gold River, and Auburn. Call us to schedule an appointment today.

If you or your child is getting bracket braces, you may be wondering what the process is like. Here is how dentists put on braces:

Step 1: Cleaning

Before our orthodontists begin the process, your teeth should be squeaky clean and dry. One of our friendly hygienists will gently remove any plaque and tartar from your teeth with a professional cleaning.

Step 2: Securing the Brackets

Based on what you or your child has decided, you will either receive metal brackets or clear ceramic brackets. These ensure that the wires on your teeth stay in place.

To secure the brackets, a tiny amount of bonding adhesive is placed on the center of each tooth, lightly dried, and set using a blue light. Our orthodontists will then affix the brackets directly on the glue. Any excess glue will be removed, and your dentist will use the blue light again to ensure a strong bond.

Step 3: The Bands

To anchor the braces, an appropriately-sized band is placed around your back teeth. Glue is applied to the metal bands, and your orthodontist will slide the bands over your back molars.

This part of the process requires some pressure, but your orthodontist will be as gentle as possible to guarantee your comfort.

Step 4: The Arch Wire

Next, a strong wire is threaded through each bracket to connect them and provide the force your teeth need to move into their correct positions.

Small rubber bands called ligatures are then attached to your brackets to keep the wire in place. Whether you have metal or clear braces, these rubber bands can be any color you choose.

Once they are all placed, the wires are snipped to prevent them from irritating your gums and cheeks.

Tips for Afterwards

This process takes anywhere from one to two hours, leaving the rest of the day for you to rest and get used to your new braces. Here are some tips to help your first days with braces be more comfortable:

  • Eat soft foods like boiled vegetables, pasta, soup, yogurt, and pudding.
  • Brush with a gentle toothbrush after each meal
  • Use dental wax to alleviate irritation.
  • Rinse your mouth with saltwater help heal any sores
  • Take over-the-counter pain medications for soreness

After your first few days with braces, your mouth will start to feel normal again. Make sure to follow all your orthodontist’s instructions on how to continue taking care of your teeth with braces.

Contact Our Office Today

As adult and children’s orthodontists, Dr. Markham and Dr. Scott look forward to building relationships with people of all ages. We can’t wait to get to know you and help you love your smile. To learn more about the benefits of braces and which option is right for you, visit our website.

Ready to schedule your initial consultation? Contact our Natomas, Gold River, or Auburn office today.