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Key Orthodontic Terms: Brackets, Archwire, Elastics, Bands, and More

Bracket The Bracket is an orthodontic attachment secured to a tooth for the purpose of attaching an archwire. Braces Diagram, normally the bracket is cemented directly onto the tooth, which eliminates the need for a band. (Brackets with an attached archwire are parts that “make” the appliance or brace.)

Archwire The archwire is a metal wire which is attached to your brackets to move your teeth. The archwire is changed throughout your treatment as the teeth move to different positions.

Elastic Rubberband An elastic is a small rubber band that is attached at two points between the top and bottom teeth. The elastic adds pressure to move the teeth through the braces diagram.

Band A band is a thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and is cemented into place.

Coil Spring The Coil Spring fits between brackets and over the archwire to widen spaces between teeth.

Elastic Ties The Elastic tie or rubber band is the tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket and holds the archwire in place. Changing the colors of your elastic ties can give your braces a fresh new look!

Headgear Tube The headgear tube is a round, hollow attachment where the inner bow of the headgear is inserted.

Hook A hook is either welded or temporarily attached to the bracket. The hook holds the elastic in place.

Loop in Archwire A loop is created in your archwire that typically closes the spacing between teeth that have been caused by extraction. Most archwires do not need loops.

Tie Wire A tie wire is a thin piece of wire that is wrapped around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

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