How do the Teeth Shift During Braces Treatment?

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Dental braces or metal braces are one of the most effective ways of teeth straightening and correcting misalignments such as crooked teeth, teeth crowding, twisted teeth, jaw misalignment etc. An average braces treatment lasts from 1-2 years and can transform your smile entirely.

A braces treatment is done by an orthodontist, an expert at dental misalignments. They understand your teeth and jaw, make a plan and also fix the braces onto your teeth. Once your braces are in, they tighten them every 3-4 weeks to bring a change to your smile.

What are Braces Made Up of?

Wondering how do braces work, and can retainers move teeth back? Let us first understand the components of braces to learn how teeth moving with braces occurs. There are 4 main components of a traditional braces treatment. They are:


The most important part of braces, metal brackets are glued to teeth and hold the wires that apply pressure on the teeth. In traditional braces, they are in the front of the teeth and in lingual braces, these are placed at the back of the teeth. Generally made with metal, ceramic braces contain ceramic brackets and clear brackets come in clear braces.

Arch wires:

Arch wires do the important job of not only connecting all the teeth and brackets together but applying pressure for teeth straightening.

Elastic bands:

All other major and minor components of braces are tied together with elastic bands. These provide added pressure and force for alignment. Elastic bands come in several colours to choose from too!

While these are some of the most important parts of braces some others include separators, o-rings, power and energy chains and more. Another type of braces, which are clear aligners do not contain any of these parts. Aligners such as makeO toothsi invisible aligners are made from clear plastic trays and nothing else! Yet they perform as effectively as other braces types.

How do Braces Move The Teeth?

All the components of the braces together loosen the teeth from the current undesired position and move them in the right direction. They work together to apply gentle force and slowly push the teeth to the desired location without affecting the gum line of the teeth.

How Long do Teeth Take to Shift with Braces?

If you’re wondering when will I notice my teeth move with braces, then you must know that this is a gradual process and progress will take at least a year. When teeth moving with braces occurs, it happens due to bone shifting. The movement and the later stabilisation of the bone under the teeth take a long time which is the reason for the overall timeframe of a braces treatment. The duration generally varies from person to person depending on their type of misalignment.

Braces are known to cause some pain and discomfort. They also require the user to follow certain food restrictions like not eating hard or chewy food and sticking to soft food. It is important to follow these restrictions for a few weeks after the braces have been removed too. Once your braces treatment is done, you must take precautions to maintain your teeth's position by avoiding hard foods and wearing orthodontist-prescribed retainers to keep them in place!

Not convinced by braces or simply looking for a more invisible alternative for achieving the perfect smile? makeO toothsi clear aligners are a great alternative to traditional braces. Made with premium plastic trays, these aligners can correct most misalignment issues while being removable, nearly invisible and almost painless!


When will I notice my teeth move with braces?

While the duration of a braces treatment goes for 12-24 months, you may begin to notice changes in your teeth in 4-12 weeks' time.

Can retainers move teeth back?

Retainers given by your orthodontist post braces are not meant to move teeth back but simply hold them in place. Since our teeth naturally move over the years, the teeth straightening must be protected and preserved, which is what a retainer does!

Can braces move teeth in 3 weeks?

Yes, braces can make the slightest of shifts in your teeth in 3-4 weeks' time. You will be able to notice the change in teeth movement by this duration.

Which teeth are the hardest to move with braces?

Lateral incisors or the teeth next to your front two teeth are known to be the hardest to move with braces.

What is the shortest time period for braces?

Typically the time for a braces treatment is between 12-24 months. However, it mostly depends on the patient, their dental issues, mouth and gums along with which type of braces they choose to use.

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