Do Braces Go on Molars?


When most people think of braces, they often envision brackets and wires on the front teeth. However, the role of molars in orthodontic treatment is crucial. This article aims to answer the question: do braces go on molars? Understanding the placement and function of braces on molars can help you better appreciate the intricacies of orthodontic treatment.

Understanding the Role of Molars in Orthodontics

Molars are the large, flat teeth at the back of your mouth. They play a significant role in chewing and grinding food. Their position and function are critical in maintaining proper teeth and jaw alignment. Considering the molars’ role in the overall dental structure is essential. Proper alignment of molars ensures a stable and functional bite, which is vital for oral health.

Why Do Braces Go on Molars?

Orthodontists often place braces on molars for several reasons. Molars serve as anchor points to move other teeth into their correct positions. By attaching braces to molars, orthodontists can apply the necessary force to shift teeth effectively. Moreover, aligning molars is important for achieving a balanced bite. Misaligned molars can lead to uneven wear on teeth, jaw pain, and other dental issues.

Types of Braces

  1. Metal Braces: These are the traditional braces made of high-grade stainless steel. They are the most common type and are very strong, making them suitable for molars, which require a lot of force to move.
  2. Ceramic Braces: These are similar to metal braces but are made of clear or tooth-colored material. They are less noticeable but can be more fragile than metal braces.
  3. Lingual Braces: These braces are placed on the back side of the teeth, making them invisible from the front. They can be customized to fit each tooth but might be more uncomfortable initially.
  4. Self-Ligating Braces: These braces use a special clip instead of elastics to hold the wire. They can be metal or ceramic and often require fewer adjustments, making the treatment faster.


Four million Americans, mainly teens (80%), wear braces. Meanwhile, nearly 25 to 50% of all children will also be braces-wearers. Source.


How Braces on Molars Affect Treatment

Braces on molars play a significant role in the overall orthodontic treatment process. They help distribute the pressure the braces apply across all teeth. This distribution is essential for moving teeth into their correct positions. Achieving the desired results without bracing on the molars would be challenging. Therefore, when considering “do braces go on molars,” it’s important to understand their impact on the treatment’s effectiveness and efficiency.

Do Braces Go on Molars for All Patients?

While braces on molars are common, they may not be necessary for every patient. The decision to place braces on molars depends on various factors, including the patient’s age, the severity of the misalignment, and the specific treatment plan. For example, younger patients with developing jaws might not require braces on molars initially. However, as treatment progresses, the orthodontist may decide to include molars. Thus, the answer to “Do braces go on molars?” can vary, but they are often essential for comprehensive treatment.

The Process of Placing Braces on Molars

  1. Consultation: The orthodontist examines your teeth and takes X-rays and impressions to plan the treatment.
  2. Cleaning: Before placing the braces, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned to ensure no food particles or plaque are left.
  3. Bonding: The orthodontist applies a special adhesive to the molars and attaches the brackets. These brackets are the small squares that will hold the wires.
  4. Placing the Archwire: The archwire is threaded through the brackets. This wire applies pressure to the teeth to move them into the desired position.
  5. Adding Ligatures: Tiny rubber bands or clips are placed to hold the archwire in the brackets.
  6. Adjustments: The orthodontist will adjust the braces over time by tightening the wires to gradually move the teeth into place.

Challenges of Braces


Molars are at the back of the mouth, making it harder for the orthodontist to place and adjust the braces. It can also be difficult for you to clean around them properly.


Braces on molars can cause more discomfort or soreness than other teeth because molars are larger and require more force to move. This can lead to pressure and pain, especially after adjustments.

Risk of Breakage:

Molars do a lot of heavy chewing, which puts extra stress on the braces. This increases the risk of brackets or wires breaking or coming loose, possibly requiring additional visits to the orthodontist for repairs.

Care and Maintenance of Braces on Molars

Proper care and maintenance of braces on molars are crucial for successful orthodontic treatment. Patients should brush and floss regularly, paying special attention to the molars. Using interdental brushes or water flossers can help clean around the brackets and wires. Additionally, patients should avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage the braces. Regular dental check-ups and adjustments are essential to ensure the treatment progresses as planned.

Overview of Do Braces Go on Molars

Molars play a critical role in orthodontic treatment by serving as anchor points and ensuring proper teeth and jaw alignment. Different braces can be used on molars; their placement is essential for effective treatment. While there are challenges in caring for braces on molars, the benefits far outweigh them. Proper care and regular dental visits are crucial for oral health during orthodontic treatment. Understanding the role of molars in orthodontics helps patients appreciate the comprehensive nature of their treatment plan.

Braces FAQs: Straightening Your Smile with Confidence

Do molars need to be removed for braces?

Not always. Removing molars (back teeth) for braces is a decision your orthodontist makes on a case-by-case basis. Some molars might need removal if there’s not enough room for proper alignment. However, orthodontists prefer to avoid extractions whenever possible. To create space, they’ll explore alternative techniques like palate expanders or dental arch expansion.

Why can’t braces go on the back of teeth?

Braces are typically placed on the front of teeth because they allow for better control and application of force during movement. Placing them on the back would be difficult to access and clean and might be less effective in achieving the desired results.

What is the age limit for braces?

There isn’t a strict age limit for braces. Braces can be effective at any age as long as you have healthy teeth and gums. Adults are increasingly opting for orthodontic treatment for a straighter smile. A consultation with an orthodontist can determine if braces are right for you.

Can braces fix teeth behind teeth?

Yes, braces can fix teeth positioned behind other teeth (crowding). The controlled pressure from braces can gradually move teeth into their proper positions, regardless of their initial location.

Why are my molars not touching during braces?

During orthodontic treatment, your teeth may go through various stages of movement and shifting. It’s common for molars to have temporary gaps at some point. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem. Trust the process and follow your orthodontist’s instructions. As treatment progresses, your molars should eventually come into proper contact.

Do Braces Go on Molars?

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