Ever Wondered What the Individual Parts of Braces Do? | 7 FACTS

What constitutes the individual parts of braces? Getting braces is more exciting than it ever has been before. Not only can you get to do things such as choose the colors of the bands that you wear, but you may also have the chance to pick from several different types of appliances. While there is more than one way to straighten teeth, braces are still the go-to method in the field of orthodontics. They are the ideal choice because the different components can all be altered in various ways to do things such as pull teeth closer together or apart while also aligning the top and bottom jaws.


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The Individual Parts of Braces

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 grin. Braces might just look like a bunch of metal parts, but each component is strategically placed to develop accurate results. Finding out how the individual parts of braces work allow you to be an informed patient when you come to your initial consultation and follow up visits for braces.


Why Do Braces Have Wires?

The most obvious question regarding how braces work is regarding the purpose of the thin metal wire that runs across the front of your teeth. After all, these are some of the most prominent features, and they seem to do little more than run from tooth to tooth. However, these thin strings of metal actually do the majority of the work.

They come in varying thicknesses that your orthodontist can choose from depending upon the level of tension that is required to move your teeth. They are then attached to the metal strings in a specific way that allows your orthodontist to control the tension. During your follow up visit, these wires may be replaced or tightened up to move your teeth where you want them to go.


What Are the Other Parts of Braces?

The second most prominent part of your braces is the brackets. These hold the archwire in place, and you may have them on just a few of your teeth or all of them. In most cases, these are cemented on to the surface of your tooth using a special type of cement that is removable when your treatment is finished. Special bands can also be used to hold them in place. Bands are just extremely thin pieces of metal that go around your tooth to give your orthodontist another place to put the square metal attachment for the archwire.


What Do the Colorful Rubber Bands Do?

There are two types of rubber bands that you may see on someone wearing braces. The first type is a series of small rubber bands that go around the brackets called ligatures. These provide an extra level of tension that can improve the results that you see from your braces treatment and they hold the archwire in place.

The second type is the inter-arch rubber bands. These are attached to small hooks on the metal attachments that are cemented to your teeth. These help to adjust the position of your teeth, but they also have the benefit of helping to move your jaw into the proper alignment.




What If One Part Breaks?

Each of these components is designed to work so well together that you must immediately address any type of breakage. While all of the parts of traditional braces are durable, they can occasionally break due to the normal stresses that occur while you eat. When a piece of the archwire breaks, your braces can no longer maintain the level of tension that is required to correct your teeth’s positioning.

A bracket that falls off can also lead to the wire breaking or losing its tension. However, this is rare. When rubber bands break, you simply need to replace them as soon as possible to maintain their tension. In most cases, it only takes a quick visit to the orthodontist to get the broken part of your braces repaired.


Do Clear Aligners Work the Same Way?

Clear aligners are designed differently than traditional metal braces, but they can have similar benefits. These are made to straighten teeth by carefully molding a series of trays that progressively shift teeth into the desired spaces. While they are effective for many common orthodontic issues, there may be times when traditional braces are preferable due to the amount of control that they give to orthodontists for increasing the tension levels that move your teeth.


How Do Orthodontists Know Which Braces are Best?

Your orthodontist will perform a comprehensive exam at the beginning of your treatment. This exam includes x-rays along with a visual inspection of your mouth. In some cases, pictures and measurements of your mouth may be taken to create a 3-D rendering of how your mouth will look before and after your treatment. All of these components are then taken into consideration to determine which plan works best to give you the perfect smile.

If traditional braces are your best option, then you may also have the opportunity to select from several different types. For example, lingual braces have all of the same components as traditional ones, but they are placed on the backs of your teeth so that they are less visible.


What Can I Do to Make Sure My Treatment Works?

Working with an experienced orthodontist is essential for making sure that the individual parts of your braces all work together to properly move your teeth. However, you can also do your part by simply following your treatment plan. While you may need to avoid things such as sticky candy that could break the archwire for a period of time, the effort is worth it when you finally get to see your new smile revealed during your final office visit.




Learning more about the parts of braces show your orthodontic treatment works makes it more fun and exciting. We encourage you to give us a call today for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Gorton that allows us the opportunity to share exactly how your new treatment plan will work to make a straighter smile.

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Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle
Suite 200 Larkspur, California 94939

Text or call us at 415 459 8006

Individual Parts of Braces & What they do | 7 EPIC FACTS