Published on May 3, 2016, Updated on November 13, 2017
When discussing your treatment while you are with us at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, it is important you know the different parts of braces and what they are called. This will allow you to better follow our discussions on your treatment and to be a more engaged participant in the process. It will also aid you in understanding how to communicate your needs to us during your treatment. If a part of your appliance – the individual elements that work to correct your teeth – needs more attention during cleaning, or if a part needs to be adjusted, you will understand what part we are talking about when we call it by name. The five main parts of the orthodontic appliance include:
A. Ligature (Elastic ties) – Available in a variety of colors, elastic ties are small rubber bands that go over the brackets in order to hold the archwire in place. These elastic ties really pop in color when you pair them with our ceramic, white brackets option.
B. Archwire – Held by brackets or other orthodontic attachments, the archwire is designed to guide the shifting of the teeth during treatment. These wires are traditionally made from stainless steel, but can also be made of titanium. With our Clear Braces option, the archwire can be made to match the color of your teeth for an even more aesthetic look.
C. Brackets – A bracket can either be bonded to the tooth using a tooth-colored cement, or it can be attached to a band. These are usually made of either stainless steel or clear ceramic, and can guide and support the archwire into the appropriate placement.
D. Metal Bands – A thin ring, typically made of stainless steel, which is fitted to the tooth and cemented. The band is used to secure other orthodontic attachments, such as hooks, brackets or tubes.
E. Elastic Hooks and Rubber Bands – These rubber bands are used to create a force to move the teeth in a particular direction. These are often attached to a molar band and upper ball hook.