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About Braces

Braces have 4 main components that work together to straighten your smile including:

  • Brackets – small metal squares that are bonded to the front of each tooth and hold the archwires in place. Brackets come in metal and clear or tooth-colored.

  • Bands – rings that are placed over the molars to provide an anchor for the archwires.

  • Archwires – flexible wire that is placed in the brackets that stretches around the arch from one band to the other. Archwires come in varying sizes and will be changed at each orthodontic visit.

  • Elastics – colorful, stretchy ties that are wrapped around each bracket to secure the archwire in place. Elastics are also changed at each visit and come in a variety of colors to choose from.

Who Should Get Braces

Traditional metal braces are an excellent option for orthodontic conditions such as:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Overcrowding
  • Excess space between teeth

Treatment duration for each patient is unique to their individual needs, but the average length of time for treatment is 2 years.

Maintaining the good oral hygiene habits of brushing twice a day, and flossing every day, will have a positive impact on your end results.

Dr Glass providing braces to a patient


glass orthodontics traditional braces

Traditional metal braces have been the foundation of orthodontics for almost 50 years, and they are still the most popular orthodontic treatment today. Thanks to modern materials and new bonding techniques, braces are efficient, sleeker and more comfortable than ever before.


glass orthodontics cosmetic braces

Cosmetic braces work the same as traditional metal braces; however, the brackets are clear for a more subtle look. Clear brackets make a great option for teens or adults that happen to be more self-conscious about orthodontic treatment.

Early Treatment or Phase 1

Early treatment, also referred to as interceptive treatment, begins with having an orthodontist perform an examination of your child’s teeth to check oral growth and development. The goal of early treatment is to catch a developing problem such as an open bite or overbite before it becomes exaggerated due to facial and jaw bone growth. This gives you an opportunity to get the best results for your child in the most efficient way.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first visit with an orthodontist by the age of 7. At this age, a child has mixed dentition; some permanent teeth have erupted and baby teeth still remain. Orthodontists are trained to identify subtle abnormalities in jaw growth and emerging permanent teeth. While not all children are candidates for early orthodontic treatment, some children may benefit from treating orthodontic problems sooner rather than later.

Here are several reasons your child may need early treatment:

  • Protruding upper teeth or overbite 
  • Open bite often caused by pacifier use or thumbsucking
  • Underbite
  • Severe crowding of front or back teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Crossbite of front teeth may increase risk of trauma to the edges of the front teeth
  • Crossbite in the back teeth may cause the jaw to shift and grow to one side
  • Excessively spaced teeth
  • Extra or missing teeth

Check out the Phase 1 before & after below!

A palatal expander is a common fixed orthodontic appliance that attaches to back molars and spans the upper arch. The appliance is usually spring loaded and applies a gentle force between the molars so that the palate can open. By opening the palate, new space is created for emerging permanent teeth. The benefits of palatal expansion includes: 

  • Broadening the smile 
  • Avoid extractions of permanent teeth
  • Shorten overall orthodontic treatment duration
  • Improve breathing

What to Expect 

First, an impression is made of your child’s upper jaw. The palate expander is then customized to your child’s unique orthodontic needs and securely placed in the palate. The palatal expander utilizes bands on the back molars to hold it in place. Spring loaded appliances will work gradually on their own to spread the palatal bones. Once the desired expansion is achieved, we will leave the appliance in for a few more months to allow new bone to form in the gap and stabilize the expansion. Generally, expanders are worn for 3-6 months altogether.

Phase 2

There is a period of rest between Phase 1 palatal expansion and beginning Phase 2 treatment. The second phase of treatment begins after the permanent teeth have erupted and involves using braces to bring the teeth into proper alignment.

The primary advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment is to achieve an individual’s ideal bite, which will not only be beautiful, but healthy and functional. When treatment is divided into two phases, it is usually to prevent a very invasive orthodontic experience later in life. It is possible to prevent the removal of permanent teeth with a two-phase treatment plan. 

Another goal of two-phase treatment is to monitor and guide jaw development so that accommodations are made for all of the permanent teeth, improving the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. 

In between phase one and phase two of treatment, there will be a period of rest. This resting period allows the remaining permanent teeth to erupt without the issue of severe overcrowding. Phase One creates room for the permanent teeth; and Phase Two arranges them.