Know Your Braces
Learn the different parts that make up your braces so that when your orthodontist is explaining how things work, you will understand.
Braces are made up of several components.
The glossary below explains the different components and what their purpose is:
The small stainless steel squares or ceramic squares (tooth-coloured) are glued with a light adhesive to the front and side teeth. They are holders for the main wire that applies pressure to the teeth.
Thin metal rings that fit over the molars and are bonded in place. They usually have welded tubes where the wire or headgear can be slotted.
The main wires that slot into the brackets are known as archwires. You will usually have two archwires (Upper and lower).
Archwires come in a range of metals and sizes to allow for different stages of treatment. In the early treatment stages, we use heat activated wire developed by NASA.
The heat of your mouth will gradually cause the wire to become stiff—returning to its original horseshoe shape, moving your teeth with it. Cold drinks can be used to reduce the discomfort during the early stages of your treatment, and warm drinks to speed things up a little later on. This means fewer visits to the orthodontist for adjustments.
Small coloured elastic rings like miniature rubber bands that are stretched around the brackets to hold the wire in place.
Fine stainless steel wires that are tied to the four corners of the bracket to hold the archwire in place.
A power chain is a link of modules that stretch over a group of teeth to close the gaps.
Hooks are used to attach the modules.
The springs are stainless steel coils that fit over the wire and the open space between teeth.