What are Braces?

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The Braces Basics

Braces are fixed orthodontic appliances, meaning they’re bonded to your teeth and stay in place throughout your treatment. They apply steady, gentle pressure to move your teeth into their correct positions. The outcome is an aligned bite and a beautiful smile. Dr. Tabakman and Dr. Bloome offer advanced braces options and have the expertise to address even the most complex cases. Schedule a free consultation online or by calling us at (281) 752-4222 (West Houston) or (713) 667-6000 (Bellaire). We’ll show you how our Houston braces can straighten your teeth, improve your oral health and boost your confidence. Read on to learn the ins and outs of how these powerful, smile-perfecting braces work.

How Braces Work

While there are a variety of types of braces, they all rely on a system of brackets and archwires. The brackets are the pieces that are bonded to the teeth, either on the front or the back, using a special glue. Then, we thread a wire through the brackets, which acts as a track to guide the teeth. The gentle pressure exerted by braces causes the teeth to move in the desired direction. Conventional braces also include ligatures (tiny elastics or thin wires) to secure the archwires to the brackets. Our self-ligating braces don’t use ligatures and, instead, have a slide mechanism that holds the wire while the teeth move freely into position.

Braces Have Gotten a Makeover

In the past, braces were uncomfortable, bulky and the straightening process took a really, really long time. Thankfully, today’s braces are smaller, more streamlined, more comfortable and work a whole lot faster. With lightweight, shape-memory archwires and high-tech brackets, like those we use with our Damon™ and SLX™ braces, in some cases, you can finish treatment months sooner with less friction and sensitivity. On top of that, we offer Propel®, a chair-side device that when used in conjunction with your braces, can reduce treatment time by up to 50% and further lessen discomfort. There’s never been a better time to wear braces!

Patient who received dental treatment from Houston Orthodontic Specialists

Braces by the Numbers

Braces continue to be the most common teeth-straightening option because they’re efficient, effective and, now, attractive. We have options for every smile. Book a free consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists to find out which type of braces will give you the best results!


In a study, patients wearing self-ligating braces reported 60% less discomfort than those in conventional braces.


The wire crib, an early model of modern day braces, was introduced in 1819!


More than four million people in the United States wear braces.

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