Can You Get Braces Just on Your Bottom Teeth

Can You Get Braces Just on Your Bottom Teeth?


Braces are a reliable, effective orthodontic system that corrects mild to severe alignment issues. Some patients may feel that their top teeth do not need work and they should only need braces on the bottom teeth. While this treatment is technically possible, most orthodontists caution against it except in limited situations.

Why Orthodontists Recommend Braces on Both Arches

Braces have two main functions: to align the teeth and to create the best possible dental bite. With single-arch orthodontic treatment, the doctor can align the teeth but may not be able to achieve a proper dental bite.

Since single-arch orthodontic treatment does not address the dental bite, the following problems may occur:

  • Excessive tooth wear and damage
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Speech issues
  • Periodontal disease
  • Jaw pain
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

If your main objection to getting braces on your top teeth is your appearance, you may want to look into alternative solutions like clear and lingual braces. Clear braces have nearly invisible brackets that blend into your natural smile. Lingual braces attach to the back of the teeth, making them more discreet.

Invisalign® can also be an appropriate treatment in some cases, though it can only correct mild to moderate bite issues.

How Braces Work

Braces exert constant, gentle pressure on the teeth to encourage them to move to new positions. Your orthodontist places metal bands around your molars and brackets on the forward-facing tooth surfaces. They attach an archwire to the brackets and secure it with the molar bands. Tiny elastic bands keep the archwire aligned with the brackets.

The orthodontist tightens the archwire to adjust your braces and produce tooth movement. They may use larger elastic bands to connect the top and bottom arches and correct jaw alignment.

Types of Braces

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional braces are durable, versatile, and an excellent value. They are helpful for patients of all ages and can correct anything from simple alignment issues to jaw position.

Clear Braces

Clear braces use transparent or tooth-colored brackets, making them significantly less noticeable on the teeth.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces attach to the inside tooth surfaces.

Self-Ligating Braces

These braces do not need elastics. The brackets close around the archwire, letting the teeth move freely and speeding treatment times.

Frequently Asked Questions About Braces

How long do braces take?

Braces generally take 12 months to three years, depending on your orthodontic issues. If you have extensive dental bite problems, expect longer treatment times.

What kind of braces work fastest?

Self-ligating braces are faster than traditional braces and are appropriate in many cases.

Call Total Dental Care

Our expert orthodontists can help you determine your best treatment options. They can tell you whether braces on the bottom teeth suit your situation. To learn more about braces, please call our Germantown, MD, office at 240-813-9111.