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Your Top-Rated Orthodontist in
Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

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Same-Day Starts, Braces, and Consultations Available!

Your Top-Rated Orthodontist in
Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

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Braces are the most common orthodontic treatment. If you know you’re going to need braces, you may be wondering: how do braces really work, anyway?

Understanding your treatment can make it easier for you to manage. While braces may not be painful, they represent a significant investment in time and money and can cause some discomfort. When you or your child experiences discomfort, knowing how braces work can help you explain it and ask informed questions when you visit your orthodontist.

Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.

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What are Braces Made Of?

Braces have three basic components: brackets, wires, and bands. These parts work together to straighten your smile and/or correct your bite. Each of these components contribute to your treatment differently. Here’s what you need to know:


Your orthodontist uses adhesive to firmly place a bracket on each of the teeth that will be affected by the braces. These brackets don’t apply any pressure on their own. Rather, they allow the wire to connect firmly to each tooth to maximize its ability to move them.

Brackets come in several types depending on the desired treatment. These include clear-colored (Ceramic) brackets for a subtler look, lingual braces that adhere to the back of your teeth rather than the front, and more options. Ask your orthodontist about your options during your consultation visit.


The wire (also called the “archwire”) connects your braces together. It is placed into each bracket to apply the pressure to your teeth that will eventually result in your straighter smile. The colors or o-ties that you see on the braces hold the wire into the bracket. These wires change throughout your treatment, becoming thicker and more forceful to continue accelerating changes in your teeth.


Elastic bands can be used in braces to apply more pressure or to target specific teeth in order to help improve your bite. Your orthodontist will evaluate your progress during each visit to determine if you need elastic bands added to your treatment.

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How Braces Straighten your Smile

The three components noted above work in tandem to straighten your smile by applying constant pressure to your teeth. Teeth are not actually connected to your jaw. Rather, teeth attach to a ligament called the periodontal ligament. These ligaments help move your teeth within your jaw to straighten your smile.

The periodontal ligament responds better to light pressure applied over a long period of time rather than forceful movement all at once. To create space in this ligament for teeth to slowly move, braces need to apply constant pressure for 1-2 years. This is the average amount of time that people wear their braces.

What to Expect from your Braces

Now that you know the basics of how braces work, what can you expect from the treatment process? Your braces treatment is broken up into several phases that you should be aware of before you begin. This schedule will allow you to understand how your treatment is progressing:


For your first appointment, your orthodontist will examine your mouth and possibly take X-rays to see the roots and joints. They may make a mold of your teeth and explain your treatment options to you. If braces are the right fit, you can proceed to the bonding phase.


The brackets go on first, then the wire. Depending on your needs, this may happen in your first visit or you may need to make a follow-up appointment to begin moving your braces. If you need rubber bands to focus on certain areas to solve a bite problem, they may be attached in the same appointment or in the future.


Over your treatment period, your braces will require follow-up adjustments by your orthodontist. These appointments can be scheduled ahead of time depending on your needs.

Adjustments are necessary to manage your treatment and track the progress of your teeth. The space your teeth require to move can only be maintained with constant pressure. This means that as they loosen and move, the pressure needs to change. This can only happen with new wires, bands, and adjustments.

Your orthodontist can go over this process with you and can explain your individual treatment needs during your consultation or any follow-up appointments.

Choose Reese Orthodontics!

If you are seeking an orthodontist in Charleston, SC for yourself or your family member, consider Reese Orthodontics. Our advanced treatment options include the latest technologies to create an effective and comfortable orthodontic experience. We also have multiple treatment options available, including traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, Invisalign clear aligners, and more.

Request an appointment today so that you or your child can get started on the treatment you need!

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Easy Ways To Get Started

If you want to learn more about our orthodontic practice - where we offer extensive experience with a Board Certified Orthodontist, where we offer a satisfaction guarantee, and where we offer flexible payment options - Reese Orthodontics is here to serve you.

"Dr. Reese and staff share an inviting personality with a clean and professional atmosphere. I am very happy with the service, the product and the final result. I would encourage any of my friends and family to consult with Dr. Reese around their Orthodontic needs."
- Austin H.
"It has been a great experience all around getting braces at Dr. Reese Orthodontics. It's a great office with wonderful and friendly staff. I am extremely happy with the results. Can't say enough good things about Dr. Reese and his staff. I highly recommend him!"
- Nicole S.
"Dr. Reese and his staff was referred to me by a friend, and I highly recommend them! They were friendly, professional, helpful and quick to respond. I could not be happier with the results of Invisalign. I wore them about 7 months and my teeth are as straight as can be. Thank you for the great care and results!"
- Dancy E.
"I chose the absolute perfect orthodontist to perfect my smile. Dr. Reese has a personality that calms you and removes the anxiety that may come with the process. Dr. Reese is a true artist. I am so excited with my new smile. Dr. Reese accomplished the goals I was looking for and I am forever grateful. Thank you Dr. Reese!!!"
- Melanie C.
"Just awesome! Dr. Reese is the one to go to. He knows what he's doing and is great at what he does. Makes you feel like family every time you go visit. I can't get over how great my smile looks now. Definitely recommended."
- Harsha P.
*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Reese Orthodontics.
Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
click here to read reese orthodontic reviews
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Our Charleston
Orthodontic Office

2057 Charlie Hall Blvd. STE D
Charleston, SC 29414


Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM

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Dr. Reese McElveen, our award-winning orthodontist in Charleston, South Carolina has transformed the smiles of over 11,000 patients. Reese Orthodontics offers the most advanced orthodontic care for children and adults. Types of braces and orthodontic treatment include metal braces, clear braces, gold braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Damon Braces, SureSmile. Dr. Reese can even help you achieve your confident smile faster with AcceleDent.

Call 843.573.7279 today to schedule your appointment with our board certified orthodontist in Charleston, SC, at our conveniently located Charleston orthodontic office. Come experience Reese Orthodontics and you will see for yourself that we offer innovative and effective orthodontic care in Charleston, Downtown Charleston, West Ashley, James Island, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Johns Island, Goose Creek, Hanahan and Ladson, South Carolina (SC).