Parts Of Braces
Bands are a ring of metal, which fit around the molars and sometimes premolars. The bands are selected from a range of sizes in order to find the tightest fitting band. The bands are sealed in position using dental cement that contains fluoride to prevent any decalcification during treatment.
The brackets hold the archwire against each tooth. The archwire fits into a slot in the bracket. Brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band.
The main wires or archwires, are shaped specifically to fit around the arch into the bracket slots. Teeth move from the pressure that is applied by the braces. That pressure comes from the archwire, which guides the direction of the movement.
An elastic is the tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket.
Hooks are small attachments on the brackets used to attach elastics (rubber bands).
The coil spring fits between brackets and over the archwire.
Rubber bands are a vital part of treatment and are also contingent upon patient compliance. They add extra pressure to the braces to help move the teeth. Generally worn at all times (excluding eating and brushing your teeth), rubber bands should be changed at least once a day. They come in various sizes as they are each used for a specific purpose. We will provide you with the appropriate size.
You should always carry extra rubber bands with you in the event one breaks. If you run out, please call us immediately and we will supply you with more.
It is important to wear them consistently or treatment setbacks may occur. If only one day is missed, it could cause your teeth to shift back to their original position!
Spacers are small elastics that fit snugly between certain teeth to move them slightly so bands can be placed around them later. Spacers can fall out on their own if enough space has already been created. To determine if it needs to be replaced, slip some dental floss between the teeth; if it gets stuck, that means the spacer hasn’t created enough room and needs to be replaced prior to your banding appointment.
How long do I need to wear my retainers? While it may vary from patient to patient, the normal period for full-time retainer wear lasts for about two years. During this time, we will schedule regular appointments every 3-6 months to give us an opportunity to monitor your progress and address any questions or concerns you have. After this full period of full-time retainer wear, we will often recommend part-time retainer wear indefinitely, so as to ensure your smile is as straight and beautiful as the day your braces came off!
Can teeth move after treatment? Absolutely! The forces that our office took advantage of to move your teeth into proper position are the same ones that can shift your teeth into an improper position without care and oversight. Tooth position typically changes in patients over time, regardless of orthodontic treatment, and minor changes to your retainer may be necessary in the future, but our ultimate goal is to keep your smile beautiful and functional for the rest of your life.
Retainer Care Losing or breaking your retainers not only potentially jeopardizes your new smile, it also adds expense for retainer repair or replacement! Therefore, it is important that you treat your retainer with as much care as possible. Brush your retainer with cool (not hot!) water and toothpaste. You may also need to soak it occasionally in dental cleanser to keep it smelling and tasting fresh. And if your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be in its case! Retainers kept in pockets, placed on tables or tucked into napkins are frequently broken or accidentally thrown away. Be sure to keep your retainers away from dogs or other pets, as they will often try to chew on them. If you break or lose your retainer, please contact our office right away so that we can repair or replace it for you as soon as possible.
Remember – retainers are important to keep your new smile forever, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far!
In situations where the teeth overlap to such a degree that the edges of the lower front teeth actually bite into the hard palate, orthodontists recommend the bite splint appliance, a removable device that looks like a conventional retainer in most cases. A bite splint appliance is worn full-time (except when eating and brushing) for six months to a year.
Correcting a deep bite as early as possible will favorably affect long-term stability and eliminate unnecessary pain, discomfort, ulcers, etc. When growth is modified while a person is still growing, the change becomes more permanent. One of the first things to relapse in a finished orthodontic case is the overbite. Thus, correcting a severe overbite is one of the first important corrections that needs to be made while growth is still occurring.