Parts of Braces

At Heller orthodontics, our orthodontist provides quality orthodontic care to patients throughout the Bethesda and Laurel, Maryland areas. Whether providing early treatment or adult treatment, one of the most common orthodontic treatment options is braces. Braces have several different parts that allow them to shift your teeth into a straighter and healthier smile. Understanding your braces can help you protect them and enjoy your orthodontic care.


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 archwires. Archwires are placed in a sequence to apply increasingly controlled movement to each tooth.


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 bracket slot.Brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band.

Coil Spring

The coil spring slides onto archwire and is compressed between brackets to open spaces.


Elastics are rubber bands of different sizes that connect to hooks on the brackets and connect the upper teeth to the lower teeth allowing them to pull against each other.


Hooks are small attachments on the brackets used to attach elastics (rubber bands).

Visit Your Bethesda & Laurel Orthodontist

Understanding the different parts of your braces is just one step to a successful orthodontic treatment. It’s important to select the correct type of braces for your orthodontic needs, know what foods to avoid, and adjust your oral hygiene routine. For more information about braces or other orthodontic treatments, please contact one of our offices in Bethesda or Laurel, Maryland. We can’t wait to meet you!

Heller Orthodontics

  • Bethesda Office - 4350 East West Hwy. Suite 120, Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone: (301) 654-5433 Fax: (301) 657-8403
  • Laurel Office - 9811 Mallard Drive Suite 201, Laurel, MD 20708 Phone: (301) 490-2882 Fax: (301) 490-2882

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