Parts of Braces

Elastic Ties

Elastic Ties are tiny rubber rings that fit around the corners of each brace. The ties hold the wire into the slot on each brace. Ties can be colored or clear and are changed at each archwire adjustment appointment.


The main wires, referred to as the archwire, are fitted for the upper jaw and lower jaw. Some of the wires we use have a memory. They can be bent and contoured by your orthodontist to fit into the slot on the brace. Over a period of time (6-10 weeks), as the wires return to their memory position,  gentle pressure moves the teeth along with it. Archwires progress from appointment to appointment, and the next wire may be thicker and stronger, giving more pressure and moving teeth from where the last wire left off in movement. This gives the feeling of a ‘tightening’.


Rings of metal, which fit around the molars. The bands are custom fit to each patient and selected from a range of sizes, in order to find the best fitting band. The bands are sealed in position using dental cement that contains fluoride to reduce the risk of cavities during treatment.


The braces may be glued (bonded) directly to each tooth or to a band. They hold the archwire against each tooth. The archwire fits into a slot on each brace to hold it in place.

Coil Spring

The coil spring slides over the archwire and fits between braces. It is used to push two braces apart, therefore creating space between two teeth.

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Elastics are used to shift the bite and close spaces. They hook onto a specific brace on the upper jaw then stretch to fit onto a specific brace on the lower jaw.  

Forsus Springs

Forsus Springs are springs that are fitted on both the left and right side of the jaws. They connect the upper teeth to the lower teeth. They are used to shift the bite and close spaces.


Hooks are small vertical projections on selected brackets, upper or lower, used to attach elastics (rubber bands).