parts of braces

If you encounter a problem with your braces and you have to call us, it is helpful if you can describe the different parts of your braces to us. We have provided the pictures below with all the descriptions to be a map and guide to your braces.


Bracket – Small metal or ceramic attachment glued to the teeth so the wire can be placed in the slot of the bracket

Archwire – The main wire that connects all the brackets and guides the direction the teeth move.

Elastics – the rubber bands are used to apply pressure to the jaw, pulling forward or backward to line up the top and bottom teeth.

Molar Band – The thin ring of metal around the back teeth usually with a hook to attach elastics

Headgear tube – Tube on the outside of the top molars. This is the tube where the headgear facebow is inserted. The bottom molars have tubes on the outside as well, but they are flatter.

Power Chain – Length of elastic bands that join several teeth to pull them together

O Ring or Elastic ligature tie – Tiny elastic bands (either clear or coloured) that hold the archwire into the slot of the bracket

Steel ligature wire – They are the second most common emergency appointment because they sometimes unravel and poke at patient’s lips or cheeks. The steel ligature wire looks like the colorful elastic ties or ligature, but it is made of steel.

Spring or Coil – Springs that are compressed between two teeth to create additional space. They sometimes unwind or rotate on the archwire and can become a little pokey.

K hook – stainless steel ligature tie that is used to attach elastics.

Hooks – These are used to attach elastics between the upper and lower jaw. The hooks can either be crimped onto the wire or be part of a bracket or band.

Separator – Small rubber circle placed between the molars to create a separation or space in order to be able to fit and cement bands for braces or appliances such as expanders