Braces are the most effective way to straighten teeth. Teeth that have not been adequately aligned can cause many different problems including self-consciousness, which is why many people choose to get braces. Braces have many different parts, so it’s essential to understand what they are and how they work. Here’s what to know about the different parts of braces and what you can expect from your treatment.
1. Orthodontic brackets
Orthodontic brackets are made of stainless steel and are all connected by lingual wires and ties. These wires can move the teeth in any direction determined by your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will place the arch wire onto these brackets along with rubber bands, allowing for movement. Only 4-8 brackets are placed depending on how many teeth need to be moved and if there is room to place more brackets.
The anchor is a fixed bracket connected to a tooth by a thin wire known as an archwire, a nickel-titanium alloy. The bracket can then move the tooth according to your treatment plan. The arch wire acts as a pulley. This type of bracket is used when there are not enough teeth to place removable brackets on.
3. Active coils
Active coils, also known as springs, are made of stainless steel or gold-plated titanium. These coils unwind whenever your orthodontist applies pressure to them and then re-wind when the pressure has been released. These coils are used with brackets, arch wires, and rubber bands to move teeth into proper alignment. The active coils give added strength when applying heavy forces, such as forces from chewing.
4. Molar bands
Molar bands are made of nickel-titanium. These bands are placed around the molar tooth and the archwire to keep the archwires from moving when they have been placed against a tooth. Molar bands also work in conjunction with the other parts of braces.
Ligatures are used to keep the remaining teeth in the mouth from moving. They are placed on each archwire’s bottom front or back tooth to keep them in place. It keeps the archwires from moving when placed against a tooth and then moved by the active coils.
Auxiliaries are made of metal and rubber. Each auxiliary has two ends: a hook and a loop. The hook ends are placed around the archwires and in conjunction with the molar bands. The archwire is put through the loop end, which is placed around the teeth that need to be shifted in order to keep them from moving when the active coils apply pressure on them.
Schedule an Appointment
Because there are many different parts of braces and their function, it’s essential to understand what they do and how they work together to help with proper alignment. For more information, read our guide on the different parts of braces. Swan Orthodontics, located in Caledonia, MI, can help you with braces and ensure you get the best results possible. Dr. Kathryn Swan is a board-certified orthodontist and has been helping patients with their braces for years. To schedule an appointment, contact our office by calling or filling out our online contact form.