close up look braces

The process of getting braces is very interesting because you get to see how they work and learn about the hardware associated with helping you achieve a perfect smile. You may not have realized all that goes into a set of braces, and because every patient’s treatment is different, their braces are unique as well.

The various parts of braces include:

  • Brackets
  • Wires
  • Ligatures
  • Rubber bands
  • Metal bands

Let’s discuss the different parts of braces and what they do to help you better understand what role they play in getting your spectacular smile.


The small, square pieces attached to the teeth are called brackets. These are perhaps the most noticeable piece of the puzzle, and they’re very important. Brackets serve as anchor points, with built-in slots to allow the wires to pass through them. Available in silver, gold, or less-noticeable ceramic, brackets play an integral role in your treatment with braces.


Wires, more specifically archwires, fit through the slot in the brackets and are responsible for moving teeth into their proper positions. By applying pressure, the teeth are gradually guided to the correct spots in the mouth. Without archwires, orthodontists wouldn’t be able to fix issues with your teeth. Archwires are changed out periodically during the treatment process as the need for different strength wires arises.


Ligatures attach the archwire to the bracket and get changed out at each orthodontist appointment. These little bands come in a variety of colors and play an important role in keeping it all together. Without ligatures, the wire wouldn’t be securely attached to the brackets.

Rubber Bands

Not every patient with braces needs to have rubber bands during treatment, but they are frequently used to correct bite issues. Rubber bands are removable and attach to specialized brackets with hooks on them. Patients attach the rubber bands to the top and bottom teeth to fix any bite problems they may have and maximize their treatment plan.

Metal Bands

Again, not every patient with braces needs to get metal bands, but for those who do, these bands attach to the back molars and act as an anchor point for the wires to pass through. These bands are typically made out of stainless steel.

About Your Braces

Now that you know a bit about what goes into a set of braces, you’ll be able to keep in mind how each part plays a significant role in your overall treatment plan and results. It’s important to find the best orthodontist that fits your lifestyle and discuss any concerns you may have with them before starting treatment.

Braces may seem foreign at first, and you may not understand what each piece of the puzzle is doing to help you achieve that perfect smile. It’s common for patients to have questions, so be sure to ask away. Your orthodontist is there to ensure you’re getting the best treatment and results possible.

Get in touch with the experts at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists to learn more about braces and other treatment options by calling (843) 4-BRACES today!