Braces Diagram


  1. Ligature - The archwire is held to each bracket with a ligature, which can be either a tiny elastic or a twisted wire.
  2. Archwire - The main wires or arch wires are shaped specifically to fit around the arch into the bracket slots. Teeth move from the pressure that is applied by the braces. That pressure comes from the archwire, which guides the direction of movement. Note that the archwire is held in place by a series of small rubber rings that ties the archwire into the bracket. Any additional bends caused by lack of care in eating may allow the the wrong teeth to move.
  3. Bracket - The part that holds the archwire against each tooth, holding it in place. Brackets are connected to the bands, or directly bonded on the teeth. They may be metal, ceramic or plastic.
  4. Metal Band - The band is the cemented ring of metal, which fit around the back teeth (molars and sometimes premolars). Each tooth has its own shape and size. The bands are selected from a range of sizes. The aim is to select the tightest fitting band. The bands are sealed in position using a dental cement (like glue).
  5. Hooks - Small attachments on the brackets used to attach elastics (rubber bands).
  6. Headgear Tube - Round, hollow attachment / tube on the bracket attached to the band cemented. The inner bow of the headgear fits into it.
  7. Elastic Hooks & Rubber Bands - Elastic hooks are used for the attachment of rubber bands, which provide a force which helps teeth move, usually employing one arch or group of teeth against the other, toward their final position.
  8. Elastic Ties - A tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket. Or ligature wire. This small rubber band is hooked between different points on the appliance to provide pressure to move the teeth.
  9. Coil Spring - This spring fits between brackets and over the archwire. It works to help open space between teeth.

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