Parts of Braces

Kaplan Orthodontics curve image

The brackets are typically made from a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other metals, and are very durable and long-lasting. Brackets may have little hooks or doors. Brackets are used to secure the orthodontic wire to the tooth. The wire is secured by closing the door, or by applying ties or O-rings (colors for your braces) around the bracket and over the front of the wire.

This is what Dr. Kaplan will use to secure the brackets to your teeth. Although some orthodontists may attach the brackets to a metal band which is then crimped around the tooth to hold it in place, it’s much more common these days to attach the bracket directly to the tooth with adhesive (technically, a form of composite resin bonding material). In cases that require more serious treatment, metal bands may be used with an adhesive to give the braces more leverage and stability.

This thin piece of metal runs from one bracket to another. Dr. Kaplan will change the shape and curvature of the wire in order to move your teeth in the desired direction. Bends may be made in the wire to help move teeth to a better angle or position. In most cases, the wire will pass through all the bottom or upper teeth together but sometimes the wire will pass through connecting just a few teeth to get the desired result.

For patients who need bite correction, elastics are essential. They are generally strung between an upper bracket hook and a lower bracket hook, pulling the upper and lower jaws backward or forward to correct underbites and overbites. We also employ rubber bands for many different situations, to help get the teeth and jaws to match correctly.

Not the same as rubber bands or elastics. These are stainless steel rings that are cemented to the teeth using dental adhesives. These bands can provide an anchor for the braces and oftentimes Orthodontic appliances, but they are not used with all patients.

These small elastic “donuts” or rings can be used to create space in between the teeth when needed, typically before bands are placed. They are also referred to as separators.

These tiny rubber rings can be used to attach the archwire to the brackets. They are less rigid than spacers and come in dozens of colors.