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How I, An Orthodontist, Put On Braces!

by Dr. Nathan

Putting on and taking off braces is definitely the best part of my job. Both times the patients are so excited they can hardly contain themselves. They are so excited that I have explained to them what’s going to happen and how easy both processes are. Let me fill you in on how we put on braces at our Thrive Dental offices.

Are there any shots involved in putting on braces?

No, definitely not. This is the first thing I tell patients. For some reason, many people think we are going to have to numb or sedate you to put on braces. I’m not sure where that myth started, but that is definitely not the case. The last time I numbed someone was probably over a decade ago.

Do we have to drill the teeth to put on braces?

No again! There is no drilling and no dental anesthetic used to put on braces. I like to tell people that putting on braces is really easy. The reason I tell them this is because…it is! If you have ever seen anyone play the game “Watch Ya’ Mouth,” it is just that. 

We use cheek retractors to put them on. All these cheek retractors keep your teeth nice and try because if any saliva gets on the teeth while we put the brackets on, the bonding will be weak. If the bonding is weak, the braces will break off.

What material do we use to bond the braces?

After isolating your teeth, we use dental etch. This is a mild acid that creates these tiny micropores on your teeth.

We use the etch because it roughens the surface of your teeth. If you have ever painted anything, you know that if the surface is slick, you cannot keep the pain on the surface, and that’s why you have to either sand the surface or add a primer. 

After using the etch, we add a little bond. This is just a very liquid-like agent that acts as an intermediary between the tooth and the composite (glue for the brackets). It’s very watery and can really seep into all the pores created by the etching.

Once the etch and bond are completed, then we bond the braces on with composite. This is very similar to the material we use to fill cavities.

Once the braces are on, we cure them with a special light, and voila! You’re done!


Putting on braces is very easy. There are no drilling, filling, or needles involved. We use a couple of different materials and keep your teeth dry before putting them on. That’s why people are so surprised by how easy and fast it is to put on braces. 

Thank you so much for reading this, and if you want to learn more, check out this video I made that goes a little more into detail. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!

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