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For many people, the idea of getting braces is something they would like to avoid. For some, this is because of the misconception about how braces are placed on the teeth. People mistakenly believe that getting braces is a painful process. To ease your mind, we’re going to discuss the most common parts of braces—what they are, why they’re needed, and how they’re placed.

The 4 Most Common Parts of Braces

1. The Bracket: 

The bracket is a small metal square that attaches to the patient’s tooth. The bracket acts as a handle on the tooth that helps your orthodontist move the teeth as needed.

2. The Wire:

The arch wire is a thin piece of metal that fits into a tiny slot in each bracket.  If the bracket acts as a handle, the wire is what puts pressure on the handle to slowly start moving your teeth.

3. A Color Tie or Door: 

If you look closely at someone with braces, you will see that they have little colored bands around each bracket. These are called color ties and are what hold the arch wire in place. Sometimes color ties are not used. Some orthodontic brackets come with a door-like mechanism instead that snaps shut around the wire to hold it in place.

4. Rubber Bands or Orthodontic Elastics: 

The final part of braces is called orthodontic elastics. This is a rubber band that fits around a bracket in the upper arch and connects to a bracket in the lower arch of your mouth. Having this connection between both arches allows the upper teeth to move in relation to the lower teeth. This helps create the ideal occlusion, or bite, between upper and lower teeth. In other words, the teeth will fit together really well.  While orthodontic elastics aren’t always used with braces, they are a very common part of orthodontic treatment and are used by most patients.

It wouldn’t be ideal to move just the upper teeth or just the lower teeth independently. When straightening teeth to create a beautiful smile, it’s important to make sure that the upper and lower teeth fit with each other.

Those are the 4 most common parts of braces.  There are other, less frequently used orthodontic appliances including expanders, bite plates, and bite correctors. Your orthodontist will explain what these do and how they’re placed if they become necessary for your treatment.

How Braces are Placed at DaBell Orthodontics in Spokane Valley and Cheney

To take the mystery out of how we place braces at our offices, here are the steps involved:

  1. The teeth need to be as dry as possible in order for the brackets to adhere to them. The teeth are isolated by using cotton or plastic retractors to hold back the lips, cheeks, and tongue. The teeth are then dried with air.
  2. A conditioner is placed on each tooth for a few seconds and then rinsed away. The conditioner creates a bondable surface allowing the bracket to adhere to the tooth; otherwise, it could easily slip off of the tooth surface within a short period of time.
  3. After the conditioner is rinsed, the teeth are dried again.
  4. A two-part adhesive is applied – one part to the tooth, and the other on the back of the bracket.
  5. The bracket is carefully placed on the tooth and a blue light is used to cure the adhesive, creating a strong bond. This is repeated for each tooth.
  6. Once all the brackets are placed, the arch wire is fitted into the slots. Color ties are then put around each bracket to hold the wire in place.

That’s all there is to it!

Braces in Spokane Valley—a More Comfortable Procedure than Most People Think

Getting braces placed on your teeth will take a little time, but it is not a painful procedure. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, don’t let the fear of pain hold you back. At DaBell Orthodontics, we will make sure you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. Call us to schedule a consultation and see what our orthodontic treatment can do for you.

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