What are Braces?

Braces are a combination of brackets and wires that, when put together, make a very precise, exquisitely engineered tooth-moving machine. Using braces, teeth are guided into correct position by regular, incremental adjustments.

Braces components include:

Band: A stainless steel ring that fits around specific teeth. Each band has a bracket or tube attached to it. The bands are glued to the teeth with a special adhesive.

Bracket: The part that holds the archwire against each tooth. The archwire fits into a slot in the bracket. Brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band.

Ligature: The archwire must be held tightly into each bracket slot. The fine wire or elastomeric tie that holds the archwire is the ligature.

Archwire: Teeth move from the pressure that is applied by the braces. That pressure comes from the archwire, which guides the direction of the movement.

Headgear: A device with two parts: a soft strap with springs or elastics attached to it and a metal part called a facebow that fits into the molar hands or onto a retainer. A headgear adds extra force to the braces to help move the teeth. It is usually used to help correct excessive overjets.

Elastics: Small rubber bands that hook onto the braces between two places in the mouth, helping the teeth move in the desired direction.

Are braces the right choice for you? When you schedule a complimentary consultation, one of our doctors can tell you whether any treatment is indicated or whether braces or any other corrective appliances would be ideal in your case.