How Braces Are Made

If you are thinking about getting braces or already have them, you are probably curious about what braces are actually made of and how they work.  The three most popular ways to straighten teeth are traditional (metal) braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign.  Each of these are made differently and work in different ways to straighten teeth.

Traditional Braces

These are made of titanium or high quality stainless steel and are composed of three parts:

  • Brackets (either traditional or passive self-ligation systems)- the brackets are metal and are placed directly on the teeth using special glue.  Traditional brackets have a place for the elastic tie to be wrapped around them.  Passive self-ligation systems are brackets that use “sliding door” technology, allowing the wire to move as needed instead of being tied with an elastic tie.
  • Archwire – the archwire is also made of metal and is a thin wire connecting the brackets together.  The wire puts pressure on the teeth, which gradually guides them into the desired position.
  • Elastic ties – these elastic ties are wrapped around the traditional brackets to keep the wire in place.  They come in a variety of colors that you can choose from and are changed each time you have an orthodontic appointment.

Ceramic or Clear Braces

These brackets are made from non-porous alumina compounds, rather than metal.  They are either clear or a color that closely matches your tooth color and are bonded (glued) to the teeth.  They still utilize a metal archwire and elastic ties, but the archwire is “frosted” with white to blend in more closely with the color of your teeth and brackets. The elastic ties would normally be clear.

These braces work in the same way as traditional braces, although some orthodontists warn that they can take a bit longer than metal braces.  Ceramic braces require a little more care to keep clean.


These are clear, plastic aligner trays that are produced for each individual based off of an impression(model) of the patient’s mouth.  The orthodontist will take photos and an impression to send to Invisalign.  Aligner trays have to be changed frequently; every seven days on average.

Now that you know all the ways to straighten teeth and how they are made, contact us at Hage Orthodontics to set up a consultation where we can help you decide which method is best for you!



What If My Dentist Hasn’t Sent My Child To The Orthodontist?

You don’t have to wait for your dentist to refer your child to an orthodontist

Parents are often the first to recognize that something is not quite right about their child’s teeth or jaws. A parent may notice that the front teeth don’t come together when the back teeth are closed, or that the upper teeth are sitting inside of the lower teeth.  They may assume that their dentist is aware of the anomaly and that he/she will make a referral to an orthodontist when the time is right. A referral might not happen if the dentist isn’t evaluating the bite.

Dr. Hage does not require a referral from a dentist to make an appointment with him.


Dentists and orthodontists may have different perspectives.

Dentists are looking at the overall health of the teeth and mouth.  He/she could be looking at how well the patient brushes and flosses or if there are cavities.  While dentists look at the upper and lower teeth they may not study how the two arches make contact.

Orthodontists are looking at the bite, meaning the way the teeth come together.  This is the orthodontists’ specialty.  Orthodontists take the upper and lower jaw into account.  Even if the teeth appear to be straight, mismatched jaws can cause a bad bite.


A healthy bite is the goal of orthodontic treatment.

A healthy bite denotes good function – biting, chewing and speaking.  It also means teeth and jaws are in proportion to the rest of the face.


Dr. Hage recommends children get their first checkup with an orthodontist between the ages of 7 and 9. 

 Kids have a mix of baby and permanent teeth around age 7.  Dr. Hage is uniquely trained to evaluate your child’s growth as well as the exchange of baby teeth for permanent teeth.  He is expertly qualified to determine whether a problem exists or if one is developing.


Hage Orthodontics offers a no cost, no obligation initial exam.

Visit or call one of our conveniently located offices today to schedule a free consultation.


Dr. Hage is an expert in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics (properly aligned teeth and jaws) and possesses the skills and experience to give you your best smile.

Give us a call!

A Brief History Of Orthodontics

Orthodontics might seem like a relatively modern field of medicine but the desire for straighter teeth has been around since ancient times.  Even in ancient times, they were trying to invent devices to improve the position of teeth.  Here is a brief history of orthodontics.

Ancient Greece and Rome

The history of orthodontics starts back in ancient Greece and Rome.  Aristotle and Hippocrates had knocked around ideas for straightening teeth even as far back as 400 and 300 BC and archaeologists have proof that the Etruscan’s used appliances to maintain spaces and prevent collapse of teeth because they buried their dead wearing them.  Also, in a Roman tomb a dental device was found along with documentation on how it was used.

18th Century France

Pierre Fauchard, a French dentist in the 18th century who is considered the father of modern dentistry, wrote a book in 1728 about methods for straightening teeth.  He also was known to use a device called a ‘bandeau’ to widen the upper palate. A few years later in 1754 another dentist, Louis Bourdet published his own book where he suggested improvements to the bandeau.  He is also considered the first dentist to extract bicuspids to reduce tooth crowding.

19th Century

It wasn’t until the 19th century that orthodontics was defined as a separate dental specialty.  The term orthodontia was first used in 1841 by Joachim Lafoulon.  In 1819 the first wire crib was used.  Also materials like precious metals, steel, gum rubber and vulcanite were used to create loops, hooks, spurs and ligatures to straighten teeth.  In addition, the first elastics for braces were used by E.J. Tucker in 1850.

20th Century 

Edward Angle founded the American Society of Orthodontia in 1901, which was renamed the American Association of Orthodontists in the 1930’s.  Angle also developed the first classification system for malocclusion. By the 1960’s gold was a popular material for braces.  Before the 1970’s, braces were wrapped around the teeth, but by the mid-70’s orthodontists began directly adhering the brackets to the teeth.

Orthodontics Today

With all the advances in technology, the field of orthodontics has grown in leaps and bounds in the last twenty years.  We now have digital xrays and 3D dental imaging.  These produce better quality x-rays and allow orthodontists to get a more detailed look at the structure of the mouth.  Because they are digital, orthodontists can gain immediate access to the images.  Another plus is that there is less radiation exposure with these types of xrays.

There are many more options for braces today.  Metal braces adhered to the front of the teeth is still the most common treatment, but for people who are concerned about the braces being noticeable, there are other options like ceramic braces and clear aligners.

Metal Braces

  • Are permanently adhered to the teeth
  • The orthodontist changes the wires during treatment to help shift the teeth
  • There are certain food and drink restrictions
  • The average time for wearing braces is 2 years.
  • Most all bite and alignment issues can be treated by metal braces

Ceramic Braces

  • Are made of ceramic which blends into the color of your teeth so they are less noticeable
  • In most other ways, these braces are exactly like the metal ones.


  • Are clear plastic aligners that can be removed
  • The teeth can be brushed and flossed after removing the trays
  • Treatment includes a new set of aligners every two weeks as your teeth shift into alignment.
  • Invisalign can handle mostly simple alignment issues
  • Procedures may include attachments, or enamel-colored ridges that stick to your teeth like braces brackets. These attachments click into the Invisalign aligners to help the teeth move.

Why Choose Hage Orthodontics?

Dr. Hage knows what a big difference a straighter smile can make in a person’s life.  Not only does it help restore self-confidence, it makes it easier to practice proper oral hygiene so you have a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.  The staff at Hage Orthodontics also understand that each person’s situation is different that’s why they take the time to sit down with you and go over all your options.  They will create the best plan for your particular needs.

Maintaining your oral health is important so everyone at Hage Orthodontics will work with you to come up with an affordable plan.  The staff is very compassionate and friendly and will always greet you with a smile.

Call Hage Orthodontics today for a free initial consultation.

Three Questions To Ask When Choosing An Orthodontist

Why do dentists give more than one referral card when it comes to sending you and your kids to an orthodontist? Do you really need more than one opinion? How do you choose between them?

Giving multiple referrals often causes confusion.  Most patients assume that because their dentist gave them more than one card, it really doesn’t matter which one they choose.  Rarely does the second orthodontist offer the same treatment plan as the first.  These conflicting treatment plans may then lead the patient to pursue a third opinion, further complicating their decision.

Orthodontists differ in training, experience, and in personality.  Some were trained to expand, others to remove teeth.  Some are fresh out of school and are overly optimistic about what can be accomplished.  Others have been at it much longer and tend to be pessimistic.  Some doctors are perfectionists while others will settle for less than perfect.  Some want what is best for the patient while others want what is best for their practice.  Regardless, orthodontists are individually different and the results they provide will not be the same.  When choosing an orthodontist for your family, consider asking the following three questions:

First, what treatment is the orthodontist proposing? How will the crowding be corrected? What about the overbite? Why does he want to start now while the doctor down the street wants to wait? How can he straighten all the teeth when baby teeth remain? How long will treatment take? Can he show you examples of other patients treated the same way? In other words, make sure you understand exactly what the doctor is proposing and why his plan is different.

Second,  if there is a big difference in fees, why? Are the treatment plans actually the same?  Do both fees include the same services (i.e. retainers, x-rays, etc.)

Third and most importantly, ask your family dentist if he was having his teeth straightened today, which orthodontist would he choose? Ask him who treated his children.  With these questions, you’ll get the best recommendation and save you the trouble of shopping around.

If you would like more information on how to choose an orthodontist, or if you would like to schedule a consultation at Hage Orthodontics, please contact us today.

Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself, “I sure wish I could’ve had braces when I was a kid”? You can’t go back in time, but you can still get the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve always wished for.  It’s not too late! Orthodontic treatment can be as successful for adults as it is for adolescents.  Don’t let your age keep you from consulting with an orthodontist.

Whether you’re 8 or 80, it’s the same physiological process that moves teeth through bone.  Adults have denser bone tissue than children, so treatment may take a little longer, but age does not keep teeth from moving.

Adults can have complicated cases for a variety of reasons.  They may have fillings, missing teeth, misshapen or worn teeth, or dental disease. This is just one reason it’s so important to be treated by an orthodontist. Dr. Hage had years of formal education in orthodontics after graduating from dental school.  Therefore, he has the education and expertise you need to manage your orthodontic care and reach your best possible result.

To move your teeth to their ideal positions, Dr. Hage will use an appliance, braces or aligners, to deliver controlled forces that gently and predictably reposition teeth. There has been a revolution in orthodontic appliances — much of it driven by adults who want to straighten their teeth, but want to be inconspicuous about their treatment.  Today’s options include tooth-colored braces, tiny but more traditional metal braces, braces that go behind the teeth, gold braces and braces that aren’t braces at all.  Not every type of appliance is suitable for correction of every kind of orthodontic problem.  This is another reason to make sure you are being treated by an orthodontist.  They have access to the full range of appliances and more than anyone else in the dental profession, orthodontists know which appliance is right for an individual patient’s care.

Treatment lasts an average of 22 months.  During that time, your visits are scheduled about every six to eight weeks.  It’s a comparatively small investment of time that pays big dividends in improved dental health, better function (biting, chewing), the ability to easily clean your teeth and higher self confidence.

It’s so heartwarming to witness the first time an adult patient sees his/her new smile. The only regret expressed is that the step was not taken sooner.  The opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile has not passed you by.  You don’t have to spend the rest of your life hiding your smile.  Just because you didn’t have orthodontic treatment when you were a youngster doesn’t prevent you from doing something about it now.  Your age doesn’t matter.  You can have the smile you’ve always wanted.  It starts with a consultation with Dr. Hage!




7 Myths About Orthodontic Treatment

Hage Orthodontics wants to set the record straight on seven common myths about orthodontic treatment.


Myth #1:  Anyone who provides braces or aligners is an orthodontist.

FALSE. While some general dentists or online companies offer braces or aligners, only an orthodontist who has taken additional years of advanced training at an accredited residency can call themselves an orthodontic specialist.  It is not worth the risk of permanent damage to your smile to allow anyone who isn’t an orthodontist to attempt to move your teeth.  By selecting Hage Orthodontics, you are choosing a specialist who possesses the skills and experience to give you your best smile.

Myth #2: Orthodontists are so expensive. 

Orthodontists are unique health care providers who carefully customize their patients’ treatment plans and as a result, their fees directly reflect the complexity of each case.  From simple cases which only take months to treat, to very difficult ones which may take a couple of years, the benefits of having an expert provide your orthodontic care will be well worth it.  Hage Orthodontics offers free consultations and flexible payment plans.  We are willing to work with our patients in order to help them achieve a beautiful smile. Trust your smile to Dr. Hage. He will safely straighten your teeth and closely monitor your progress to ensure that your bite is the best that it can be.

Myth #3: Regular office visits are not necessary to get straight teeth.

No Visits = No Monitoring = No Good

The reality is that the health of your gums, teeth and jaws cannot be monitored during treatment if you are never seen by a qualified orthodontist.  Even the most carefully planned treatments need to be closely monitored to ensure that your treatment stays on course.  These visits must be completed by a trained orthodontist should a problem arise or a mid-course treatment correction be needed.  The good news is that today’s technology has allowed patients to extend intervals between appointments to as long at 8 to 10 weeks.

Myth #4: Orthodontic treatment takes several years.

Orthodontic treatment requires careful, controlled movements of the teeth to ensure they are moving into proper positions. From simple cases (which may only take a few months to treat) to the most complex cases (which could take much longer), Dr. Hage has the training, experience and skill to deliver an excellent result in the shortest amount of time. It’s not worth the risk to have someone who attempts to do orthodontics as a side business because of the possible irreversible damage that could occur.

Myth #5: Orthodontic treatment is purely cosmetic.

There’s much more to orthodontic treatment than meets the eye.  An improved appearance is the most obvious result.  But when the teeth and jaws are in alignment, it means function (biting, chewing, speaking) is improved too.  It’s dual treatment benefit!

That beautiful smile is the outward sign of good oral health, and sets the stage for the patient’s overall well-being.  Orthodontists  play a larger role in healthcare than is generally realized.

Myth #6: Orthodontists only offer metal braces.

Orthodontists spend years of study and training in how teeth move.  It makes them expertly qualified to us the tools available to provide the best care possible for their patients.  That includes metal braces, as well as a full range of other appliances (devices designed to move teeth) that can be fixed or removable, with clear options included. Rather than pressuring a patient into using a particular product or service offered by individual companies, orthodontists are craftsmen with a variety of tools at their fingertips.  Dr. Hage has the expertise to provide the best appliance (at the right time) to achieve the best result in the most timely manner.

Myth #7: Orthodontic treatment is only for kids.

False.  Patients of all ages, young and old, can benefit from orthodontic treatment.  Age is not a concern when it comes to getting a healthy, beautiful smile.  In 2014, close to 1.5 million adults were treated by orthodontists.  Because adults may have more complicated cases from prior dental work or gum disease, it is imperative that their treatment be provided by an orthodontist who has the training, and experience to deliver the best results.

Lastly, the only doctors that can call themselves “orthodontists’ have graduated from dental school and then successfully completed the additional two-to-three years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program.