During your consultation at Taft Hill Orthodontics, it is beneficial if you know the different parts of braces and how they work to correct your teeth. Having small knowledge of the parts of braces will let you understand what your orthodontist is talking about when they discuss the treatment options for you. It also helps you to be more engaged in the treatment which benefits from a faster treatment time. It also helps communicate your particular needs to us during the treatment. If we say a particular part that needs cleaning or repair, then you’ll know exactly what we are talking about.
The main components for braces are::
- A. Ligature (Elastic Ties) – These are small rubber bands that surround the braces to keep the archwire held into the slot on the bracket, but it can also be used to direct the teeth in a particular direction depending on how it is used and how it is tied to the tooth. These come in various colors, and if you pair them with our white, ceramic brackets, these colors will pop.
- B. Archwire – The archwire is the wire that connects all of the brackets and bands together. It is the source of force in correcting the irregularities in the position of your teeth. An archwire can also be used to maintain its existing dental position. These are made from stainless steel, but it can also be made of titanium. If you opt for clear braces for teeth, the archwire is made to match the color of your teeth.
- C. Brackets – Brackets are small metal squares attached to the front and side of the teeth. These brackets are typically made of stainless steel or transparent ceramic that work like handles, holding the archwire that moves your teeth. Orthodontists use a special bonding agent to keep it in place or attach it using orthodontic bands.
- D. Metal Bands – These are metal rings that fit around the molars or the back of your teeth. Each of the bands has a metal attachment that is welded outside where the archwire connects. These are held into place using dental cement. These metal bands are used to secure other orthodontic attachments such as brackets, hooks, or tubes.
- E. Elastic Hooks and Rubber Bands – These rubber bands are used to move the teeth in its target direction. These are usually attached to the molar band and the upper ball hook.