The Different Parts of Braces

If you are a recent recipient of North Phoenix braces you have probably already heard your North Phoenix, Arizona dentist use several terms you are unfamiliar with. Over the course of your orthodontics treatment you will undoubtedly hear more unfamiliar terms. It would probably be helpful for you to learn the names for different parts of braces so that if you are having a problem or have a question during the course of your orthodontics you will be better able to explain to your North Phoenix dentist what the issue is. Many different parts will be used during the orthodontics process, the following terms are some you may want to familiarize yourself with.

different parts braces


An appliance can refer to anything your dentist attaches to your mouth to help move your teeth or influence the shape of your jaw.


The archwire is probably the most important part. It is a metal wire that fits into the slots on your bands and brackets and has the job of moving your teeth into their new positions.


A band is a metal ring that goes completely around and is cemented to your tooth. Bands are stronger than brackets so they are often used on the back teeth as they are better able to hold up under the force of chewing. Bands are then used to attach brackets or other orthodontic appliances.


A process of using specialized glue followed by using a special light to harden the glue that holds your orthodontic appliances in place.


The bracket is a small piece made of ceramic or metal that contains a slot the archwire fits into. In most cases one bracket will be bonded to teach tooth. A loose or broken bracket is one of the most common problems orthodontic patients experience.

Coil Spring

A coil spring is a tiny spring that is fitted over the archwire and in between two teeth. Its purpose is to open up the space in between those two teeth.

Elastic Bands

These are small rubber bands that are attached to hooks placed on the braces. When elastic bands are hooked between different points on your braces they can provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position. These elastic bands are removable for tooth brushing.

North Phoenix Braces | Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead

Elastic Tie

These are tiny rubber bands, sometimes called O-ties, that fit around your brackets in order to hold your archwire in place. They are available in a wide array of colors and you are free to choose different colors each time you visit your dentist. Clear elastic ties are also available if you prefer them to be less noticeable.


Headgear is an appliance that uses an external wire device called a facebow to gently influence the growth of your face and jaw. Force is gradually applied to the facebow by a spring-loaded neck or head strap. The straps have a protective release that disengages the straps if the facebow is snagged.

Headgear Tube

This is a hollow tube attached to the back bands so that the inner bow of the headgear can fit into it.


The name for the thin wire that holds your archwire on your brackets.

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander is used to create more space inside the mouth by gently widening the upper jaw. An important advantage of beginning orthodontics at a young age is that the upper jaw actually develops in two separate halves that won’t fuse together before puberty. This allows a dentist to influence the shape of the upper jaw and the size of the arch in order to create more space for teeth.

Power Chain

A power chain is an elastic chain used to close gaps or keep gaps from opening.


Your retainer is another extremely important part of your orthodontics treatment. Your dentist will choose what type of retainer is best suited for your needs, it may be removable clear plastic custom made trays that look similar to Invisiline or it may be made of wire but still removable. Many dentists use wires bonded to the backside of the front teeth. These bonded retainers may be used alone or in conjunction with removable retainers.


Sometimes called a spacer, it is a tiny rubber band placed in between two teeth to create enough space to attach the bands.


braces aesthetic dentistry Last but not least the dental wax available from your dentist will be very helpful during the first few weeks after you get your Arrowhead braces. You can apply it anywhere you need it to keep your braces from irritating the inside of your mouth and lips. Soon the inside of your mouth will adjust to the braces and they will seldom bother you.

Whether you are an adult who has always wanted straight, attractive teeth or whether you have a child and you are concerned about their bite, call Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead to schedule a consultation with Dr. Greg Ceyhan to discuss your concerns.

Dr. Greg Ceyhan of Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead Dr. Greg CeyhanAesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead

17100 N 67th Ave, Suite 500
Glendale, Arizona 85308

Phone: (623) 979-1515
Fax: (623) 878-1811
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm