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Parts of Braces

Braces are a new experience for many patients, and it can be a little overwhelming at first. Being familiar with the parts of braces can help you better understand and communicate during your treatment. Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, a dual-trained specialist in orthodontics and periodontics at Elegant Orthodontics, treats children, teens and adults living in and around Boston, Brookline Norwood and Framingham, MA .


The bands are the anchors of your braces. These fit around the back teeth, or the molars. The bands are cemented into these teeth, and are custom-sized to ensure a snug fit. This is where the wires in your braces start and end.


Brackets are the individual pieces of metal that are cemented onto each tooth, although they can be made of other materials as well. The wires in your braces will feed through each bracket, connecting them one by one. Some brackets are equipped with hooks to fasten rubber bands to, a technique used to align the jaw.

Arch Wires

The arch wires are the long strands of metal that run all the way across the teeth. These wires connect every tooth together and are responsible for exerting pressure on the teeth, causing them to move towards a proper alignment. These are often changed throughout a treatment to provide varying levels of pressure on the teeth.

Rubber Bands

Rubber bands are small pieces of elastic that are typically removed and replaced every day. These attach a tooth on the top of the mouth to a tooth on the bottom, correcting the alignment of the jaw. This is how overbites and underbites are fixed.


Ligatures are the bands that connect the wires to the brackets. These are the parts of the braces that come in different colors, allowing patients to customize their experience.

Coil Spring

A coil spring fits between two brackets. This is the device used when two teeth are too close together; it slowly pushes the teeth apart.


A retainer is an appliance used to maintain the position of the teeth after a braces treatment. This can be removable or cemented into the teeth.


Wax is a material applied to the braces after an adjustment or their initial application. This protects the inside of the mouth from irritation and cuts.

Contact us to learn more about the parts of the braces and how orthodontics treatment can help you or your children perfect your smile. Elegant Orthodontics accepts patients in Boston, Brookline, Norwood, Framingham and other nearby surrounding areas.


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