Orthodontic Parts and How They Work

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If you take a look at braces before they are applied in the mouth it can be a bit difficult to sort out what to they are made of and each parts individual function. There are bits of plastic, metal and rubber each part working together to straighten your teeth and give you that lovely smile you desire. Although you don’t need to know a great deal about what the parts are and what they can do, it may interest you to have a slight understanding of what you have in your mouth. It can be especially helpful when it is children having braces fitted as knowing what is there, can prevent them from being so afraid.

There are various types of braces, so some of the items below may not appear on yours. Invisalign is not the same as a lot of the others, as they do not have the same parts and are clear. If you are wearing Invisalign, you will not recognize a lot of the list, but if you don’t, most of them will be very familiar to you. Invisalign is becoming more popular and is likely to change the way that teeth are straightened, but for the time being, metal, ceramics, rubber and elastic will all be involved.

One of the main reasons you may have for needing to know the names of the parts is to recognize when there is a problem with the braces. It will help if you know the names as the orthodontist may want information from you and if you can tell them over the phone; it will save a visit to the office. It will also help if you know the function as if something goes wrong, you may be able to put the pieces back in place if you know what they are meant for.


  • Bands – this is the name given to the pieces of metal that fits around the back teeth. Each one will have been selected judging on the size and shape of the teeth so should be a perfect fit. It is through these bands that the wires will be placed. More often than not now, the bands will be made from ceramics, although for a long time they were made from stainless steel. With this new substance, it is possible to make them less visible and therefore people are likely to be less worried about wearing them and them being seen. Although they are hooked over the teeth; there is also dental cement used to make sure that they stay there.
  • Brackets – these are the square pieces of metal that can often be placed onto the teeth and are the thing that makes the braces most noticeable. There are times when they are set on the orthodontic band, but they are still as easy to see as when they are on the teeth. Again, these can be made out of either metal or ceramics, and each one is going to have a hole through them. It is through this hole that the wire will be sent, and some are also going to be fitted with hooks. When a rubber band is used, it will be attached to the hook.
  • Arch Wire – these will always be constructed of metal and will be individually made to clip into the brackets. It is this wire that will be responsible for the way that the teeth move. They will put pressure on them, and slowly they will begin to move. If they are not the right size or not put in the right position, the teeth will not end up where they are supposed to be. During the course of treatment, the wire will be exchanged each time the teeth have moved far enough. The new wire will start of the next stage of movement.
  • Rubber bands – otherwise known as elastics, these are the pieces that are supposed to come off the braces. They link through the bracket hooks and join the upper and lower teeth. They will permanently pull the teeth in the way that they are meant to go in and as long as these are set in the right way, the correct bite will be achieved once the braces are removed.
  • Ligatures – usually made from elastic but sometimes wire, they link the wire onto the brackets. Often, they will be clear and see through, though some people are not worried about them being seen and select them in a variety of bright colors. Once the braces are tightened and the next phase is starting, it is the ligatures that are changed.
  • Coil spring – not all braces will have these, and they will only be used if there are a couple of teeth that are set too close together. The spring is placed between the teeth brackets and across the arch wire. This way, pressure will be exerted on the teeth and they will begin to move apart. Once the space is there, the teeth can begin to straighten.
  • Power chain – the teeth need to have a continuous band between them and the ideal ones will be made up from rings made from wither elastic or wire. They work in the opposite way to the coil spring, as they are intended to open spaces; the power chain needs to stop spaces opening up. Each time there is an adjustment made at the dentist, they will be replaced.


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I took my son to Dr. Ivanov because he had a severe overbite. The doctor explained everything to me with patience and understanding. I noticed the improvements in no time. I thought my son would be in braces for 3-4 years. My son, under Dr Ivanov’s care, now has the straightest most beautiful teeth (in only 2 years)!. The shape of his face adjusted to the changes as well and he looks ‘Hollywood’ Ready’. I am very satisfied with the doctor’s work. His office staff is great as well. Dr. Ivanov is very professional and I highly recommend!

Amazing experience! I’ve had my braces for 6 month now and I’m impressed of how much my teeth have changed. No pain at all. Dr. Ivanov is such a sweet person and very professional, he knows what he’s doing and always cares for patients personal concerns. Highly recommended!

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Dr. Ivanov was my orthodontist. I had a very difficult case, I had an opening in my front area when I closed my mouth. Most orthodontist that I went to said that this case would be impossible to do without surgical intervention. Dr. Pavel thought outside of the box and was able to straighten my teeth WITHOUT surgical intervention. I felt that I was in safe hands because after careful research I found that he graduated at the very top of his class. He was able to do a complex braces technique called the MEAW technique to straighten my teeth. He has restored my self confidence and smile. I highly recommended Dr. Ivanov, he will go out of his way to make sure that your treatment plan is well thought out and he will spend his time to evaluate your situation. He is the Best Orthodontist in the North Miami\Aventura area.

I’ve been visiting Ivanov since December 2015. I had crossbites, crowded teeth, and just all the works. Together with his professional and amazing staff I was able to slowly over the years fix my smile into something life-changing. I am internally grateful to him as well as his staff, especially his assistant and front desk. If you don’t come here then you’re just passing up a great opportunity to change your life for the better and meeting amazing people who will help every step of the way to getting you a better smile! Thanks again, Mr Ivanov.

Very good experience. The attention was great. The doctor is very punctual and they don’t make you wait, which for my busy schedule is super important. Also, the time the doctor told me I had to wear the braces was the exact time I needed and I was very happy with the results. Definitely recommend him.

Dr. Ivanov and his staff really feels like my second family here and they’re always looking out for the best of me. When I first came into the office, my teeth were quite messed up, but now only after a year, it feels surreal that the braces could fix them so well. I see myself smiling alot more and feeling much more confident to show my teeth than to just smirk like I used to. They give you good advice on how to take care of yourself and take the extra step to make sure you do. When I come here for my checkup, I never feel awkward or uncomfortable because they’ll welcome and talk to you as a friend as well as your dentist, something I feel good about when I think about it walking out and saying “See you next month!”

Dr. Ivanov was amazing. He was very understanding and took the time to explain, every step of the process for my daughters braces. I am proud to say with great care her braces were finally removed and the end result is the beautiful smile she now has. Thank you

Usually, when a professional says that the reason they do what they do is to see the end results and how happy it makes their patients, you have to take it with a grain of salt. However, with Dr. Ivanov, he doesn’t even have to tell you why he does what he does for you to know that it’s out of pure kindness and enjoyment in seeing a (perfect) smile in his patients. From the very first moment I met him for a consultation for orthodontic work, I knew I was in good hands. Dr. Ivanov is one of the most humblest, kindest, and caring individuals I’ve ever met in the professional field and I know that I’ll have that perfect smile in no time.

Ivan and his staff made my experience a smooth and convenient process. I am absolutely delighted and satisfied with the progress and how far my teeth has come. Ivan and his staff works effortlessly to ensure that my teeth are perfected beyond my expectations. If I had any other choice I would still choose Ivanov Orthodontic experts.

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Since day one, i’ve had positive and friendly energy with every staff member including your future orthodontist Dr. Ivanov. Dr. Ivanov have given every patient he’s recieved the optimum care and dedication to receive their dental goal. He will provide you the steps and information you need to make your journey a successful one. You’ll become so confident with your new smile at the end!! With the amount of time and work he has done with you, you’ll never doubt selecting Dr. Ivanov as your orthodontist.

He is awesome. You will start seeing changes quick in your smile. He shows passion in his work, he cares about you and your smiles. The office is very nice and great customer service. You will be in good hands if you choose to go with him.

Now that you understand a little more about how braces work, there should be no reason not to start the treatment to give you straight teeth. You have learned what the braces can do, and you should be able to sort out any issues you have. Before you have braces fitted, find out all you can about what you can do and eat, and most importantly of all, how you will look after them.

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