Different Parts of Braces | Orthodontic Terminology

Posted on February 15, 2021

f you’re planning to undergo orthodontic treatment, having a basic understanding of the different parts of braces can be helpful. At Cardinal Orthodontics, we’ll guide you through each step of the process and explain everything in detail. But if you want to get a head start, here’s a breakdown of the various components of braces, complete with photos.

One crucial component of braces is the braces springs. These are tiny elastic components that help to apply gentle pressure to the teeth, encouraging them to move into their desired positions over time. By using braces springs in combination with other parts of the braces, we can create a customized treatment plan that suits your specific needs.

At Cardinal Orthodontics, we specialize in designing personalized treatment plans that incorporate the latest advances in orthodontic technology. Whether you’re interested in traditional braces, clear aligners, or other options, we’ll work with you to find the best approach for your unique situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.


The upper or lower jaw are referred to as an “arch”.

Orthodontic Arch


A small metal or ceramic attachment that gets bonded to the tooth with adhesive. The bracket has a slot where the archwire sits.


Self-ligating Bracket

Self-ligating brackets are a metal or ceramic bracket with a “door” on the front of it. The door holds the archwire in place removing the need for round rubber bands. Cardinal Orthodontics specializes in the use of self-ligating brackets.

Self Ligating Bracket


The archwire is the metal wire inserted into the bracket which is used to actually move the teeth. Archwires come in a variety of sizes each with their own specific use. Certain wires align teeth while others are used to move individual teeth with beauty bends (perminate bends in the wire).  


Coil Spring

Coil springs are used when two teeth are too close together. The spring goes over the archwire and are used to create more space by moving the teeth away from eachother.

Coil Spring

Chain Elastics

A “chain” is connected rubber bands that are stretched across the entire arch to close space between teeth. 

Chain Elastics 01

Rubber Bands | Elastics

Rubber bands are used during different stages of orthodontics treatment for individual tooth movement or jaw alignment. Elastics are worn from upper arch to lower arch.

Rubber Bands 01

Separators or Spacers

Spacers, AKA “separators” are made up of rubber band o-rings or metal rings that are inserted between molars to create space for a band. They are inserted 1 to 2 weeks before the band is placed. 


Bracket Hook

Bracket hooks are used to attach elastics between the upper and lower jaw.

Bracket Hook

Now that you understand the different parts of braces…

You’re ready to get started! At Cardinal Orthodontics, we offer both metal and clear (ceramic) braces. Give our office a call today to schedule your FREE consultation, or click here to request a video exam that can be done from the comfort of your own home.

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