How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Ever pondered the mechanics behind braces and their ability to craft the perfect smile? Dr. John Foley combines traditional methods and innovative solutions like LightForce braces to offer a range of orthodontic treatments here at Foley Orthodontics in Cary, NC. This blog unfolds the science and art behind braces, demystifying how these small devices make big changes in aligning your teeth. Up next, we’ll dissect the components of braces to set the stage for understanding their transformative power.


The Anatomy of Braces

In the orthodontic world, the journey to a perfect smile is powered by a sophisticated toolkit. At Foley Orthodontics, Dr. John Foley utilizes a combination of carefully designed elements, each playing a vital role in guiding teeth to their desired positions. Let’s break down these key components:

  • Brackets: The main anchors attached to each tooth. At Foley Orthodontics, brackets are chosen for their blend of strength and precision.
  • Wires: These thin pieces of metal are what Dr. Foley adjusts to direct teeth on their corrective course. They connect the brackets and apply the necessary pressure to move teeth.
  • Elastics (Rubber Bands): Used for bite correction, these are often connected between brackets on the upper and lower teeth to adjust jaw position.
  • Orthodontic Bands: Stainless steel rings cemented to teeth, providing an anchor point for braces and other orthodontic appliances, as needed.


When it comes to materials, the choice is significant:

  • Metal and Nickel: The traditional metal braces are known for their durability, made from a robust blend of stainless steel and nickel.
  • Ceramic (LightForce Braces): At the cutting edge, LightForce braces offer a cosmetic advantage with 3D-printed ceramic brackets that are both aesthetically appealing and tailored for comfort.



  • Smartwire (InBrace Lingual Braces): A revolutionary component that sets InBrace apart, the Smartwire is custom-fitted behind the teeth, remaining out of sight. This personalized wire gently and efficiently moves teeth into place, guided by Dr. Foley’s precise treatment plan. 

The selection between our various options at Foley Orthodontics reflects a balance between the enduring strength of traditional materials and the modern demand for discretion and comfort. Next, we’ll review the orthodontic process, revealing the step-by-step transformation that braces facilitate.


The Orthodontic Process Explained

The transformation from a crooked or misaligned smile to a perfectly straight set of teeth is a fascinating process. Here’s how the orthodontic process unfolds, step by step:

  • Initial Placement: The journey begins with attaching the chosen brackets to the teeth. This crucial step sets the stage for the entire treatment, with each bracket placed in a precise location determined by Dr. Foley.
  • Applying the Wire: Next, a flexible wire is threaded through the brackets. This wire is the main force in the orthodontic process, gradually moving teeth into their correct positions over time.
  • Regular Adjustments: As teeth begin to move, regular visits to Foley Orthodontics are essential. During these appointments, Dr. Foley adjusts the wires and elastics to continue the pressure on teeth, guiding them closer to their final destination.


Throughout the treatment, patients witness a remarkable transformation, not just in their smiles but in their overall dental health. With each adjustment:

  • Teeth slowly align according to the customized treatment plan.
  • The bite corrects, improving both the appearance and function of the jaw and teeth.

The orthodontic process is a testament to the blend of science and artistry in dental care. Up next, we’ll compare the different types of braces available at Foley Orthodontics, highlighting the unique benefits of each option.


How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Comparing Types of Braces at Foley Orthodontics

Choosing the right type of braces is a critical decision that affects not only the appearance of your smile during treatment but also your overall comfort and satisfaction. Let’s review the features and benefits of each type:


Traditional Metal Braces

  • Strength: Known for their durability and effectiveness in treating a wide range of orthodontic issues.
  • Visibility: The most noticeable option, but modern advances have made them sleeker and more comfortable than ever.
  • Cost: Often the most budget-friendly choice, making them accessible to a broader range of patients.


Ceramic Braces (LightForce Clear Braces)

  • Discretion: Made of tooth-colored materials, offering a subtler alternative to metal braces without sacrificing performance.
  • Comfort: Modern materials and design ensure a comfortable fit and minimal irritation.
  • Cost: Slightly higher than metal braces, reflecting the advanced materials and aesthetic benefits.


InBrace Lingual Braces

  • Invisibility: Expertly hidden behind your teeth, InBrace offers a virtually invisible orthodontic solution, allowing for a natural smile throughout treatment.
  • Comfort: Designed to minimize irritation and discomfort, InBrace braces provide a smoother experience with gentle, continuous pressure on teeth.
  • Cost: InBrace may be a premium option suited for those prioritizing discretion and innovation in their orthodontic treatment.


Understanding the differences between these options allows patients at Foley Orthodontics to make informed decisions about their orthodontic care. Next, we’ll uncover the best practices for caring for your braces, ensuring your treatment is as effective and comfortable as possible.


Caring for Your Braces with Ease

Effective care of your braces is a cornerstone of successful orthodontic treatment. Dr. John Foley at Foley Orthodontics emphasizes a few key practices for all his patients, regardless of which braces they have:

  • Oral Hygiene: Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean teeth and braces twice daily. Floss daily with a floss threader to remove plaque and food particles.
  • Eating Smart: Steer clear of hard or sticky foods that can damage braces. Opt for softer, nutritious foods that are easy on your orthodontic appliances.
  • Routine Visits: Attend all scheduled appointments at Foley Orthodontics for adjustments and follow Dr. Foley’s guidance to keep your treatment progressing smoothly.
  • Addressing Discomfort: Use orthodontic wax for minor irritation. For any breakages or significant issues, contact Foley Orthodontics promptly.

Adhering to these simple practices ensures your treatment remains on track, leading to a beautiful smile without any unnecessary delays.


How Do Braces Straighten Teeth?

Bracing for a Brighter Smile

Unlock the potential of your smile with the expertise of Dr. John Foley and the team at Foley Orthodontics in Cary, NC. Offering a spectrum of options from traditional metal to innovative LightForce braces, we’re equipped to tailor a treatment just for you. Reach out for a free consultation and take the road to a brighter, more confident smile!