What’s What?

Parts of Braces

If you’ve ever been around someone who speaks another language it can be hard to interpret what they are saying. While “ortho speak” is not necessarily a new language, there are a few words we use that you ware welcome to learn. It will help you as you describe questions or concerns and you will understand more about your treatment. Here’s a few terms to know:

Bracket –

it’s the same as a Brace

Hooks –

this may be attached to the bracket or wire but they are helpful for rubberbands

Archwire –

it’s the wire we use to apply force for tooth movement

Rubberband (AKA Elastics)

these are a great way to connect top and bottom braces when we need to adjust the bite

Ligature (AKA O-ties or color-ties)

these can be colorful, clear, silver, or made of wire. Either way, they are great at securing the archwire into the bracket, thus allowing your teeth to move from the wire’s adjustment

Powerchain –

Sometimes we place these links of rubber ligatures that are connected. It’s really helpful at closing any spaces or keeping spaces closed


Bands –

sometimes, especially on molars, we add a band that circles the entire tooth

Open Coil Cprings (OCS)

it’s like a tiny spring that sits on the wire. It helps open space if needed

Bite Billows or Openers (AKA Turbos, Lifters)

sometimes with misaligned teeth there is no room between the bite for a bracket or band. So while that tooth is moving we add a variation of dental composite to open the bite and protect the bracket and assist in tooth movement. It may feel pretty awkward at first, but we’ll remove it as soon as the teeth adjust to a more favorable position to accommodate your NEW bite.


Remember your RBS!

Way may prescribe rubberbands for you. This is one of the BEST ways to improve your progress and speed up your treatment. Wires help align your Teeth but Rubberbands help align your Bite and Jaw

“Need more Elastics? Give us a call! We’ll have them ready for you to swing by or we can mail them”