Monday, September 26, 2022
HomeOrthodontistDifferent Parts of Braces - What do They Do? (We Explain)

Different Parts of Braces – What do They Do? (We Explain)

Your braces may be due for installation. Or, you may have a mouth full of new invaders and the info you got while attending the appointment got lost in all the excitement. Your fixed orthodontic appliances have different parts all doing a specific job. Some may be more evident than others. Your treatment plan will determine what parts are used. Below is a quick read list of the different parts of braces and what they do.

What is Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontic treatments are clinical methods to straighten teeth known as malocclusions. Crookedness correction, rotation of teeth, and making the jaws uniform in position are what happens when you wear braces. This list is for traditional braces and Damon System.

Let’s get into what the different parts of braces are and what they do.

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Elastics are tiny rubber bands that flex between brackets in the higher arch and brackets of the lower arch for moving their teeth forward. You have the choice between tooth-colored elastics or bright colors.

When elastics are stretched out they hold or move the upper or lower jaw. You change the elastics regularly for a longer time to make it easier to move teeth.

Wearing elastic correctly as recommended is necessary for achieving good results as well as removing braces at the right time.


The brackets are tiny metal squares attached to the teeth. They act as a handle that holds the wire on the tooth. It is glued directly to the tooth enamel with specialized adhesives.

Brackets can be constructed in stainless steel. This is generally for cost reasons when ceramic and more up-to-date technology is pricier.

Also in ceramic. These are called self-ligating brackets are the newest type and are fast becoming the norm.

Fun Shapes for Children

You can purchase braces in different colors and fun shapes such as footballs, stars, and hearts when your child wants to add a little bit of fun to their braces.

These brackets work the same as regular brackets and are just as effective. Certain brackets are equipped with small hooks that help fix bite problems.

Power & Energy Chain

An “energy chain” is a series of rubber rings which connect to an O-ring. They are like chains, as all rubber rings are glued together to the next in the row. Each of the rings runs through a pair of brackets, each containing one of those rings.

Whenever the chains are strained it pushes the teeth closer. The device helps move the teeth along the arch and closes gaps between the teeth. Power chains come in white and grey.

Each visit, the doctor will change the power chain, so you may request different color combinations.


O-Rings are rubber rings holding the archwire on the bracket. O-rings are either grey or transparent for matching frames but are also available in many fun colors. 

FACT: Self-ligating brackets have no rings because the brackets have small doors that open and close the archwire.


Separators is a rubber band that makes room between the teeth before braces. These can be used in molars with metal cladding around their edges. Typically the teeth are close together.

Depending on the thickness the band needs separate teeth to be placed for a few days between the teeth. The separators slightly push the teeth to allow for fitting around it.

Fixed space maintainers are an essential part of treatment when gaps are prevalent in the mouth.

Coil Springs

You may need a coil spring if you have teeth that are too close together. The archwire and brackets are placed over the springs to gently separate the teeth and create more space.

Herbst Appliances

Herbst appliances are orthodontic devices used to modify growth and improve mobility. Unlike adjustable headgear, Herbst Appliance is an anchorage. It supports lower jaws in the forward direction for optimal lower jaw expansion.

Although people can open and close the lower jaw by putting Herbst products in their mouth, they can move their mouths normally.


The archwire is the connector connecting the two parts. It actually performs alignment of the bracket so that it can align the teeth properly.

During an archwire bend, the teeth will follow the bends in the spline. The jaw moves in the archway as if it is on the ground.

Palatal Expander

Palatal Expanders are devices that are anchored on upper back teeth to allow the upper back arch to grow. Using this appliance, the teeth are corrected when upper or lower teeth are struck.

What is Invisalign?

Specifically made for you, Invisalign is a series of flexible clear plastic trays. It is near invisible. You would be able to get your upper and lower teeth straightened without anyone knowing you are wearing anything! 

Both teens and adults can wear Invisalign. There are two parts of this treatment type.

  • Aligner trays x 2
  • Rubber bands (if needed)

Fixing Crooked Teeth

At Childers Orthodontics in Illinois, our orthodontist can oversee your braces and Invisalign treatment from start to finish. We will straighten teeth of any suitable age. We are open for new Children, teenagers, and adults to have an examination. 

Dr. Childers ranks in the top 1% of Invisalign providers in the USA.

All the parts braces and the stages of the treatment are planned. We will explain all in easy-to-understand formats. So you can rest assured of your treatment quality to get a straighter smile.

Dr. Kyle R. Childers offers expertise in all procedures. This is to reduce the amount of time required for wearing orthodontic devices. Call us to schedule your first appointment for an orthodontic evaluation.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments