Do You Know The "Parts" Of Your Braces? (And Why It's Important)

While you may just see a shiny smile full of metal or ceramic, the truth is that there is so much more going on beneath the surface of creating that beautiful new grin. Braces might just look like a bunch of metal parts, but each component is strategically placed to help guide your teeth into proper alignment. In fact, each of these components is designed to work so well together that you must immediately address any type of breakage to avoid delays in your treatment.

The good news is that all of the parts of traditional braces are durable. Occasionally however, loose and/or broken appliances may occur during your active orthodontic treatment. It is important that you contact the team at Bel Air Orthodontics as soon as possible so that we can evaluate the urgency of the problem and schedule you to be seen accordingly for repair. When making that call, it is helpful to know the various parts of your braces so that you can explain your concerns to us in a clear manner. So, lets review our diagram below to learn more about your braces.

  • Bracket - Small attachments that are bonded to your teeth. Brackets hold the archwire in place .
  • Band - Thin ring of metal fitted around the tooth and cemented in place. They carry tubes, hooks or rotating levers (in other words, they become a handle on your tooth).
  • Archwire - The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It's changed periodically throughout treatment as teeth move to their new positions.
  • Ligature Tie - The archwire is held to each bracket with a ligature, which can be either a tiny colored elastic or a twisted wire.
  • Coil Springs: These small springs help to open spaces between the teeth as needed. They fit over the archwire and between the brackets. Depending on whether an open coil spring or a closed coil spring is used, the primary goal may be to create more space or maintain existing space between two teeth.
  • Hook - Welded or removable arm to which elastics (rubber bands) are attached.
  • Rubber Bands - Elastic bands that are used to help tooth movement.
  • Buccal Tube - Tube on the molar band that holds the end of the archwire.

If you have any questions about your appliances or your orthodontic treatment, we're here to help. Don't hesitate to give the team at Bel Air Orthodontics a call for additional assistance.