How do braces straighten crooked teeth?

Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Your braces are at work every moment of your orthodontic treatment. The two main components of your braces are: the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the main archwire that connects them. The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is bent to reflect your “ideal” bite. In other words, it reflects the way we want you to look after treatment.

The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting in your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from the archwire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows in behind.

Types of Braces

With all the advances in technology in recent times, there are many types of braces you can choose from. Traditional metal braces are the most widely used. With our self-ligating braces technology, our metal braces are smaller and move teeth faster than ever before!

A popular option among our adult and teen patients is Invisalign & Invisalign Teen. This technology uses clear plastic aligners to straighten teeth instead of metal brackets and wires.

Our newest treatment option is called Kwik Correct, which is a short term cosmetic orthodontic solution. The clear brackets and esthetic wires make this treatment hard to see from social distances.

Children should see an orthodontist by the age of 7

To find out which treatment option would be the best fit for you, contact our office to schedule your FREE consultation.

Early Treatment

Dental problems related to jaw growth get worse, not better, with time. For this reason, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial examination by an orthodontist at age seven. Because they are growing rapidly, young children benefit enormously from appliances which balance the relationship between the upper and lower jaws, and develop room for erupting permanent teeth.Two phase treatment does not mean you are being treated twice; it means your treatment is divided into two stages, with each stage beginning at the appropriate time.

three kids smiling

Early arch development and growth guidance are indicated in cases of:

  • Protruding incisors
  • Deep Bites
  • Severe Crowding
  • Open Bites
  • Bite Problems
  • Underbites
  • Jaw Disharmony
  • Crossbites


  • Less need to remove teeth
  • Less time in full braces
  • Improved self-image
  • Less need for jaw surgery
  • Broader, fuller smile
  • Improved function
  • Improved nasal airway
  • Increased stability

The Phases

Two phase treatment separates the entire orthodontic treatment into two time periods, with each period being the best time to correct specific problems.

First Phase
Age 7-10 years
Active Treatment – Treat 12-18 months

Resting Period
Age 10-12 years
Retainers – Rest 12-24 months

Second Phase
Age 12-14 years
Active Treatment – Treat 12-18 months

Phase I

Early intervention consists of jaw modification (orthopedics) lasting 12-18 months in the mixed dentition, when both permanent and baby teeth are present. The first phase is directed more at your child’s muscles and jaws than the teeth, although some concerns regarding tooth positioning may be addressed. The goal of this phase is to create the healthiest environment possible for the eruption of permanent teeth and development of the jaws and face.

Phase II

The second and final phase of active treatment begins at the time the last baby teeth are lost. This tooth alignment (orthodontic) phase typically takes 12-18 months. Final correction of tooth position, space closure, root paralleling and other refinements, which are important to function and stability, are achieved during this stage.

Kids Club

Our Super AWESOME Kids Club is our complimentary service program through which we can monitor your child’s growth and development so they can receive the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time.

Bernstein Orthodontics Kids Club logo

Teen Treatment

At Bernstein Orthodontics, we know the value of a beautiful smile. We see it every day in our patients. They leave our office with beaming, confident smiles to take on the world. That’s what makes our job worthwhile!

Invisalign Santa Rosa

One of the most popular options for teens is our self-ligating braces that come in both traditional and clear options! With this revolutionary self-ligating technology, the metal wire is held into place by a moveable component instead of elastic ties. This allows your teeth to move more freely to provide a more comfortable orthodontic experience.


Another great option for our teen patients is Invisalign Teen, which uses a series of clear, removable trays to straighten teeth.

Dr. Bernstein is a Preferred Provider of Invisalign in Santa Rosa, Windsor & Petaluma. Invisalign Teen allows you to straighten your smile without anyone even knowing!  ​

invisalign trays

Adult Treatment

The benefits of having a great smile don’t have a shelf life and luckily neither does your ability to achieve it. These days many of the treatment possibilities are for adults who are self conscious about wearing traditional braces or want the fastest treatment possible.

four adult women smiling

Modern technologies like Invisalign and self-ligation allow us to treat patients with less extractions, shorter treatment times and more comfortable techniques. Clear brackets or tray solutions can make it look like you’re not wearing braces at all. Click the video below to learn more about orthodontics for adults.