How Do Braces Work?

Your braces journey is an exciting time, and our dedicated team at Kottemann Orthodontics is here to guide you each step of the way! With the expertise of Dr. Bill, Dr. Kraig, Dr. Scott, and Dr. Alisha, our team can help patients of all ages achieve their ideal smile. We are here to answer your questions about how braces work and what you can expect when beginning treatment.


Your Guide to Braces

The mascot of orthodontics for many years, braces are an appliance used by our orthodontists to realign and adjust your teeth into the ideal position. They place carefully measured pressure across your mouth to shift your teeth and jaw to create a beautifully aligned smile. Though some think the procedure is purely for aesthetics, straight teeth also offer functional benefits, including improved digestion and speech, easier sleep, and a renewed sense of confidence!

Issues Treated

Known for solving even the most complex orthodontic cases, our team customizes braces to take on any complication you may have. Treating bite overbite, underbite, malocclusion, and crowded or gapped teeth is no problem when reaching your smile goals. Given the proper treatment time, our orthodontists can help you attain the stellar smile you are working towards.

What Types We Use

Metal Braces

Kottemann Orthodontics is proud to offer both traditional metal and clear ceramic braces. The former is a reliable choice that patients have chosen to reach their smile goals for many years. Able to fix any orthodontic issue, metal braces are smaller and more comfortable than ever, persuading patients of all ages to opt for them.

Clear Braces

Clear ceramic braces provide an aesthetic alternative with the same trusted reliability as their metal counterpart. They blend into your smile with tooth-colored brackets and no longer stain, thanks to orthodontic advances. Due to their slightly more fragile nature, clear braces are typically offered to older teens and adults.


The Phases of Treatment

Phase One: Level and Align

The start of treatment is dedicated to shifting teeth to eliminate gaps or crowding so they sit right next to each other. Depending on your needs, pressure may need to be placed in all directions to create a straight line across.

Phase Two: Bite Adjustments

The next step focuses on adjusting bite issues such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite. Correcting these issues helps us ensure your upper and lower jaw align with each other correctly. This is a significant step as it allows your jaw and teeth to function together without discomfort, a change you will notice immediately.

Phase Three: Fine-tuning

Towards the end of treatment, you will notice incredible changes to your teeth alignment, but there is still one more step! We use this winding down time to make fine adjustments and minor tweaks to individual teeth to obtain ideal alignment.  

Each patient’s treatment plan is unique, so the order in which your treatment is applied may vary depending on your particular case and the braces you wear. Coming in for your check-ins is crucial so we can make adjustments as necessary to keep you on track.


How Do Braces Work?

How To Care For Your Braces

Food Choices

Making smart food choices when wearing braces can help your treatment be more efficient and save the appliance from possible breakage. Kottemann Orthodontics recommends avoiding hard, sticky foods such as popcorn, gum, nuts, and apples.

Instead, stick to softer foods such as pasta, soft-cooked chicken, muffins, and ice cream! The more responsible you are with maintaining your braces, the smoother your orthodontic journey will be.

Oral Hygiene 

Any of our orthodontists will happily explain best practice brushing and flossing techniques, including using the right kind of toothbrush and toothpaste to help you effectively clean in between the many parts of your braces. It can draw your attention to small crevices or areas you may otherwise not give much thought to. 

Maintaining these oral habits is extremely important to keep your smile journey on track and your teeth otherwise healthy. 

Wearing a Mouthguard

If you play sports or any contact activity, you can protect your teeth with an orthodontic mouthguard to save your teeth from directly taking the brunt of an injury. Should your teeth get damaged, immediately check your appliance and mouth for any damage, and schedule an appointment with us if you notice anything off.


The Many Parts of Braces and How They Work Together


Supporting the bulk of alignment work, the archwire is strung through each bracket on your teeth to apply gentle pressure across your mouth. It may be adjusted during appointments to ensure your teeth are pushed in the correct direction.


These square-shaped pieces placed on the front surface of your teeth play a crucial role by acting as an anchor for many other components, ensuring proper pressure is placed where needed.


To secure your brackets, we use a special glue known as bonding cement. It holds them firm in place throughout treatment, though it is designed to be easily removed when using the right orthodontic tools, so removing your appliance is a simple experience.

Elastic Bands

When certain areas of your teeth need an extra push in the right direction, small elastic bands are hooked onto your brackets to shift your jaw and teeth. They are available in many sizes and strengths to customize their use to your needs best. 


Elastic rings, called spacers, create space between teeth by gently pushing them apart to make space for bands and other pieces. 

Other Tools

In addition to the components of braces, our office also utilizes technology such as the iTero Element scanner and x-rays to help us determine the placement of your braces and get a detailed look at your teeth, gum, and bone structure. Both tools allow us to track your alignment throughout treatment and determine where to adjust.


How Do Braces Work?

Your Braces Journey Starts Today!

Providing specialized orthodontic treatment to Chaska, Maple Grove, Orono, Plymouth, and the surrounding communities, Kottemann Orthodontic loves to treat new patients eager to take on braces treatment. Whether you have more questions or want to schedule a free consultation with us, feel free to contact any of our locations by calling 763-420-6834, and we will happily walk you through the next steps.