We are all familiar with what braces look like, but what are braces made up of?
The diagram below is a brief description of each of the pieces that go into putting together your braces. This may come in handy if something breaks during your treatment that you are unable to identify to us. Knowing this information will help us schedule you in properly to have it repaired.
©American Association of Orthodontics
Ligatures are wrapped around the front of the bracket to hold the Archwire (B) in place. This is the part of the braces that comes in a number of colours that you get to choose from!
The archwire is the muscle of the operation. This is what pulls your teeth into their proper position. The wire is shaped like an arch to encourage the teeth to mimic it's shape. Dr. Agapas may also put specific bends into the wire to move teeth a specific way.
The brackets are the anchors for the wire. These are the pieces that we attach directly to your teeth so that the wire has something to hold onto. When a bracket is no longer attached to your tooth, that tooth is not able to move with the rest of them. This is why it is important not to break brackets!
D. ELASTIC HOOKS
Elastic hooks can either be built into a bracket, or placed onto the wire later on in your treatment. These hooks are what your rubber bands (E) will wrap around in order to do their job.
E. RUBBER BANDS
For patients that require them, rubber bands or "elastics" are used to pull teeth in a certain direction in order to perfect your bite. There are many different ways to wear rubber bands that all serve a different purpose.
F. MOLAR TUBES
Molar tubes are the brackets that are placed on the very back of the braces. These are most commonly placed on the First Molar. These brackets look slightly different than the other brackets, and do not require a ligature (A). The wire simply slides into the hole on the front, allowing the wire (and teeth) to move as needed.