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What’s This? Understanding Your Braces

Understanding Your BracesYou may know what braces look like, but do you know the name and function of each part? Braces are not a single appliance that are placed onto the teeth. Rather, they’re made up of several different components that come together and gradually shift your teeth into a healthier position.

Straightening your teeth involves many steps — it’s not as simple as moving your teeth into a better spot. There are many obstacles that need to be considered when forming a healthy alignment. Your teeth need to fit within your jaw properly, your bite contact has to be examined and even the spacing between your teeth must be determined once your braces are put on.

So what does each part of your braces do? We’ll explain the different areas of your braces so that you can better understand how they will improve your oral health at Central Florida Smiles.

Bands are metal, not rubber

When you hear the word “bands” it’s easy to think of rubber, but in fact, the bands we use in orthodontics consist of metal that fit around the molars. If your molars are misaligned, bands can be used to move them into a healthier position.

Archwires carry most of the weight

Although each section of your braces helps reposition your teeth, the archwire takes on much of the responsibility. The archwire places pressure onto the teeth, which prompts them to move. There are different types/sizes of archwires which all have certain prescriptions to help correctly align your teeth.

Brackets are used for stability

Brackets are those pieces of metal you see attached to the surface of the tooth enamel. They work specifically to keep the archwire in place. Brackets are commonly referred to as braces, but they are only one part of the orthodontic components that help your braces function as one unit.

Elastics act as a safeguard

Elastics are thin rubber bands that are attached to certain hooks on your bracket. They will help to position your bite so it fits together like a perfect puzzle. Elastics are usually worn inside the patients mouth 24/7; unless brushing/eating, under constant pressure to help your bite. There are many different ways to place your elastics, but your orthodontist will inform you on the best formation.

O-rings can add some fun

Also made from elastic, o-rings are the colorful portions of your braces that you often see wrapped around the brackets. Although they are used primarily for creativity and self-expression, O-rings also support the archwire and keep it in place as it guides the teeth into position.

Coil springs ensure proper spacing

Coil springs are either open or closed. Open Coil Springs will open space inside your mouth between two teeth once activated. Closed Coil Springs will hold space inside your mouth, also between two teeth to help maintain the space created. The Coil Springs will be replaced or removed during the course of treatment.

Your braces are more complicated than they look, which is also why they are highly effective when addressing many orthodontic issues. If you have additional questions about the make-up of your braces, feel free to contact either our Longwood (407-862-1870) or Lake Mary (407-805-0068) offices and schedule an appointment.