How Braces Work

Braces are composed of several elements – bands, brackets, archwires, and elastic ties. Learn more about each element below.

Bands

These are metal rings that fit all the way around your back-molar teeth and have a bracket welded to the side. They will remain on your teeth during your entire active orthodontic treatment and will be removed when your braces are completed.

Brackets

These are the individual braces that are bonded to the outside of your teeth with special orthodontic tooth glue. They will remain on your teeth during your active orthodontic treatment and will be removed when your braces are completed. Sometimes, brackets are used on the back-molar teeth instead of bands.

Archwires

Archwires fit inside slots on the brackets. They are what gradually shift your teeth into place. As you progress through your treatment, you will receive different types and thicknesses of wires depending on the tooth movement needed. This is what often feels “tight” after an orthodontic adjustment. The “tightness” is likely from the fact that your wires have been changed.

Elastic O Ties

These are miniature rubber bands that fit around the outside of the bracket and secure the wire in place. These can either be colorful or clear and are changed at every appointment.

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