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Breaking Down the Parts of Braces with Your Orthodontist

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smile with bracesYou’ve certainly seen braces before, but how much do you really know about them? Do you know the names of the different parts? At Shirck Orthodontics, Dr. Jeff and Dr. Jen like to help our patients understand absolutely everything about their orthodontic treatment so they can know exactly how it’s helping them achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. Today, your orthodontist in Heath, OH is going to talk about the individual parts of braces so you can know what each one of them does!


This is probably the part most people notice when they see someone with braces. Brackets are small squares that are bonded to each of the teeth, and their purpose is to hold the arch wire in place as it applies pressure to move the teeth. Most of the time, brackets are square-shaped and made of metal, but at Shirck Orthodontics, we also offer clear/ceramic braces as well as WildSmiles custom braces that come with brackets in all sorts of fun shapes.

Arch Wire

The arch wire is typically made of metal and is designed to fit into the brackets placed on the teeth. This wire is what actually moves the teeth by placing a gentle but consistent force on them. Over time, the wire will be adjusted and even changed out to help guide the teeth into their ideal positions.

Color Ties

Color ties are small rubber bands that are used to hold the wire onto the brackets. Each bracket gets its own tie, and as the name indicates, they come in a rainbow of colors! A child can get bright colors to suit their personality or show school spirit, while adults can get more subtle tones to help them blend in.


In addition to straightening the teeth, braces can also help address bite alignment issues, and this is done through the use of elastics. Elastics are removable rubber bands that are attached to bracket hooks which connect the upper and lower teeth. This applies a pressure that will gradually correct the bite over time.


As we touched on above, some brackets may have small hooks on them that are used to hold elastics in place. The position of these hooks and elastics will be different depending on each particular patient’s bite and how it needs to be shifted.

Other Parts

These are some of the most basic parts of braces, but your orthodontist may choose to use additional ones to correct very specific problems. These include a coil spring, which can help space out teeth that are crowded together, or a power chain to prevent spaces from opening up.

We hope this short guide shed a little light on braces and how they work! If you’re interested in getting braces in Heath, OH for either yourself or your child, we invite you to schedule a FREE consultation where you can ask all of the questions you like. To get in contact with the friendly team here at Shirck Orthodontics, click here.