Your Plymouth Braces Specialists

Dr. Scott Kottemann

Kottemann Orthodontics are the experts in straightening smiles for patients of all ages in Plymouth, Orono, Maple Grove, Watertown, Chaska, and the surrounding communities. Traditional braces are one of the most effective tools we have for achieving beautifully aligned teeth and jaws, and we are proud to offer traditional metal braces, self-ligating braces, and ceramic braces to meet the orthodontic needs of every patient we see.

Braces have a long history, and are one of the most widely recognized symbols associated with orthodontics. Aside from being incredibly efficient at correcting a wide range of oral issues, braces also have a well-established history of successful treatment with fantastic results.

How the Plymouth braces process works

Before we put your braces on, our team will collect digital x-rays, photos, and a model of your mouth. Once these records and any scans are complete, we’ll use this data to help formulate a customized treatment plan based on your particular orthodontic needs. This plan will include information about the movements each tooth needs to make in order to achieve optimal positioning, and this will determine how our doctors place your brackets. For example, teeth that need to be turned will require a different positioning of the brackets than teeth that need to be tilted.

Once the brackets have been attached, the wire will be inserted to provide customized pressure on the teeth that need to be moved. Bends in the wire will encourage specific and precise movements of the teeth, a process called remodeling. This process involves minor changes in the bone that surrounds the roots of teeth. When pressure is put on the tooth, cells called osteoblasts and osteoclasts form around the tooth’s root. Together with the wire, this creates a negative pressure on one side of the tooth, where bone will be removed. On the other side of the tooth, the bone is reformed. It is this pressure and bone remodeling that will slowly move the tooth into the correct position.

Remodeling can only occur if constant pressure is put on a tooth. As the bone is absorbed on one side and then deposited on the other side, the tooth is able to move, but once the pressure stops, the tooth will begin to settle into its new position. This is what happens when your braces are removed. Unfortunately, this also means that teeth will often begin drifting back towards their old positions over time. The good news is that regular use of a retainer will help prevent this natural drifting and keep teeth in their new and improved positions!

What your Plymouth braces are made of


Typically composed of a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other metals, brackets are very durable and long-lasting. Wire is threaded through small hooks or doors, and a bracket can be secured by closing the doors or applying an elastic over the top of the wire.


This is what our doctors will use to attach the brackets to your teeth. Some orthodontists may attach the brackets to a metal band that is then crimped around the tooth to hold it in place, but it’s more common to attach the bracket directly to the tooth with glue. In more complex cases, metal bands may be used together with glue in order to give the braces more leverage and stability.


Wires are essentially thin pieces of metal that run from one bracket to another. Our doctors will adjust the shape and curvature of the wire in order to move your teeth in the desired direction. They may also choose to make crimps in some areas to help push or pull any especially stubborn teeth. Depending on the specific treatment plan, the wire can attach all the bottom or upper teeth together, or it could be cut strategically to connect just a few teeth.


Elastics are essential for patients who need bite correction. They will generally be placed between an upper bracket hook and a lower bracket hook. They can then be used to pull the upper jaw backwards to correct an overbite, or the lower jaw backwards to correct an underbite. Rubber bands may also be used in different scenarios, and are especially useful when we want to exert extra pressure on the teeth or jaws.

Orthodontic bands

These stainless steel rings are cemented to the teeth using dental bonding agents and can provide an anchor for braces and other orthodontic appliances. They are not used with all patients.

Elastic ties/o-rings/ligatures/colors

These tiny rubber rings or bands are used to attach the arch wire to the brackets and come in dozens of fun colors that let patients customize their treatment and showcase their personality!

What To Expect When You Get Your Braces Off

What to expect from your Plymouth braces

Today’s braces are better than ever! All the braces we offer are excellent for correcting a variety of oral issues. They often work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might, potentially shortening your overall treatment time. They also tend to be a cost-effective option for patients who are on a budget. The strength, durability, and affordability of traditional braces plays a large part in keeping them the top treatment for orthodontic patients year after year.

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces. Generally made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires and are extremely efficient at treating cases from mild to complex. Metal braces also come with the option of colored elastics for a more unique and colorful smile!

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces, but they use a specialized clip in place of elastics to help the archwire guide the teeth into place. The clips help reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the tooth, and require fewer adjustments since there are no elastics to replace. Self-ligating braces can come with metal, ceramic, or clear brackets.

Ceramic Braces

Although they are similar to metal braces, ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are a more subtle option for straightening smiles. They are very popular with older teen and adult patients who are concerned about the cosmetic appearance of orthodontic treatment. The brackets tend to be larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts, and for that reason we generally don’t recommend them for younger patients. Ceramic braces tend to be used on the upper front teeth more often than the lower teeth.

With traditional braces, signs of improvement can often be seen in a relatively short period of time, increasing confidence in both your smile and the orthodontic process!