The part of your braces which actually moves the teeth. The arch wire is attached to the braces by small elastic donuts or ligature wires. Arch wires are changed periodically throughout the treatment at regular intervals. Each change brings you closer to the ideal tooth position.
Brackets are the ‘braces’ or small attachments that are bonded directly to the tooth surface. The brackets are the part of your braces to which we attach the arch wire. There are many different kinds of brackets, and during your consultation appointment we will discuss together the best type of brackets for your particular case.
Occasionally, a bracket may come loose and become an irritation to your mouth. You can remove the loose bracket and save it in an envelope to bring to the office. Call the office as soon as possible to make an appointment to re-glue the bracket.
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Elastics are the primary mechanism that we use to move teeth so that they fit together correctly. They can be worn in a number of different configurations. Elastics are attached using hooks that are part of the bracket or the bands.
The elastics phase of treatment is the one that takes the longest in the average patient. The quality of our end result and completing treatment on time is dependent upon the patient following instructions for wearing elastics precisely.
If elastics are worn intermittently, they will continually ‘shock’ the teeth and cause more soreness. When elastics are worn one day then left off the next, treatment slows to a standstill or stops. Sore teeth between appointments usually indicates improper wear of headgear or elastics, or inadequate hygiene. Wear your elastics correctly, attaching them as you were told. Wear elastics all the time, unless otherwise directed. Take your elastics off while brushing. Change elastics as directed, usually once or twice a day.
O rings, also called A-lastics, are little rings used to attach the arch wire to the brackets. These rings come in standard gray or clear, but also come in a wide variety of colors to make braces more fun. A-lastics are changed at every appointment to maintain good attachment of the arch wire to the bracket, enabling our patients to enjoy many different color schemes throughout treatment.
Band & Loop
A band & Loop (or space maintainer) is used to hold space for a missing baby (primary) tooth until the permanent tooth can grow in.