Parts of Braces

At Smile Studios Orthodontics, we encourage patients to learn the parts of their braces to improve communication and enhance their treatment experience. We offer braces to residents of Marietta, Atlanta and the surrounding areas of Georgia from our locations in Lovejoy, Fairburn, and Powder Springs.

Parts of BracesBraces are made up of many different components. Some of these will be changed throughout treatment, while some remain attached to the teeth until treatment is finished. Familiarizing yourself with the parts of the braces can help us communicate better throughout your treatment and help you better care for your braces appliance. To learn about other orthodontic terms we may use in regards to your treatment, please refer to our Orthodontic Dictionary

  • Appliance – An appliance is anything that is attached to your teeth to adjust your teeth or jaw.
  • Archwire – The archwire is the long wire that connects to all of your teeth via brackets. This wire is responsible for applying pressure to the teeth to push or pull them into the appropriate position. It is changed regularly throughout treatment.
  • Band – A band is a metal ring that is placed around the teeth. These essentially act as anchors for your braces, and are placed on the back teeth.
  • Bond – Bond is an orthodontic cement that is used to attach bands, brackets, and other appliances to the teeth.
  • Bracket – A bracket is fixed to each tooth, and can be made out of different materials depending on your preference. The bracket connects the archwire to each tooth.
  • Coil Spring – The coil spring is placed between two brackets, applying a force to the teeth to push them apart. This helps create space between the teeth.
  • Elastics – An elastic, also called a rubber band, may be used to help pull teeth into place. Typically, a single band is attached to one upper tooth and one lower tooth. This is a common technique for correcting bite issues.
  • Elastic Tie – An elastic tie is what is used to connect the archwire to the bracket. These come in different colors, allowing patients to customize the look of their braces.
  • Expander – An expander is an appliance that is placed in the top of the mouth. It applies outward pressure to widen the upper and lower jaws.
  • Headgear – A headgear is an appliance used to guide the growth of your face and jaw. It helps move the teeth into their proper position using a facebow, which is an external wire that pulls on the teeth. The facebow pulls the teeth based on a force that comes from a spring-loaded strap. Headgears are removable.
  • Headgear Tube – The headgear tube is a hollow piece that is attached to bands in the back of your mouth. This is where the headgear is inserted.
  • Hook – A hook may be found on one of your brackets. This is where elastics are attached to adjust the position of the teeth.
  • Ligature – A ligature is another name for an elastic tie, which connects the archwire to your brackets. These come in different colors.
  • Mouthguard – A mouthguard is a protective accessory that should be worn during sports. It provides a layer of protection around the teeth and the braces. This helps to prevent damage to the braces and the rest of the mouth in case of an injury.
  • Retainer – A retainer is a device that is worn after your braces are removed. It helps keep your teeth in place, and can be applied to either the upper or lower teeth. Some retainers are removable, while others are permanently bonded on the inside of the teeth.
  • Separator or Spacer – A separator or spacer is a small rubber ring that is placed between the teeth to push them apart. These are typically used before beginning a braces treatment to create space for the bands.
  • Tie Wire – A tie wire is another name for a ligature or elastic tie. It connects the archwire to the brackets and comes in different colors.
  • Wax – Wax will be supplied during your braces treatment. If the inside of your mouth is being poked or irritated by your braces, you can place wax on the part of the appliance that is bothering you to provide relief.

To learn more about braces treatment, contact us today. With convenient locations in Lovejoy, Powder Springs and Fairburn, GA, we welcome patients from Atlanta, Marietta, and the surrounding areas of northern Georgia.