What Are Braces Made of and How Do They Work?

Posted on December 16, 2019

As Orthodontists, we are often asked, “what are braces made of?” and, “how do they work?” The answer is actually fairly easy, because braces are made up of two main components:

  1. Brackets
  2. Archwires

These two items work together to apply the proper amount of force, pressure, and tension required to straighten teeth (for more info, click here). Because there are many different types of brackets and archwires that are used, it’s important to do your research before selecting an orthodontist. In this blog, you will learn what braces are made of at Cardinal Orthodontics, and the benefits of using our brackets and archwires.

Fun Fact

Improvements to technology, functionality, and design of brackets and archwires have been ongoing since 1909!

Types of Braces at Cardinal Orthodontics

Cardinal Orthodontics is located in both Webster Groves, MO and Ballwin, MO; suburban communities of St. Louis. At Cardinal, our braces are made of high-tech, medical grade brackets and archwires. The braces we use require less appointments and provide increased comfort to our patients.

Option 1: Metal Braces

Stainless steel, alloy braces (metal braces) are made of combined components like carbon, aluminum, silicon, molybdenum, nickel, and chromium. Chromium is added in order to make the bracket resistant to rust.

Brackets that are made of stainless steel alloy are very strong and come with greater corrosion resistance.

Option 2: Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made with combined components like plastic, porcelain, clay, and glass. This is what makes this type of bracket more transparent and clear in appearance.

Common misconceptions made about clear, ceramic brackets is that they will turn yellow/stain, and that they may not straighten your teeth as effectively as traditional metal braces. The only true downside to going with ceramic versus metal braces, is that they’re more susceptible to breaking when being removed. This is due to the fragile components that they are comprised of.

Brackets & Archwires Used at Cardinal Orthodontics | How They Work

Self-Ligating Brackets

Both metal and ceramic braces options at Cardinal orthodontics are “self-ligating”. This means, the bracket has a built in clip that holds the wire in place.

Pros Of Self-Ligating Brackets:

  • High-tech brackets because they allow for more efficient tooth movement. (without the need for elastic or wire ties).
  • Designed with built-in gates/doors that close easily over the archwires to ensure it is secure and fully engaged in the bracket slots..
  • Produce shorter treatment times

Sentalloy- Nickel Titanium Archwires

  • Deliver a gentle, light continuous force
  • Body heat activation
  • Soft, pliable, and easy to engage at room temperature
  • Once warmed by body temperature, the wire gently and predictably guides the teeth to the present arch form.
  • It’s overwhelming desire to return to its original shape actually promotes tooth movement with fewer wire changes and fewer patient visits.
Categories: Orthodontic Treatment
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COVID-19

Due to the stay-at-home order that has been issued for St. Louis, Cardinal Orthodontics will be temporarily closed until April 24th to comply with all mandates.

Although we will not be seeing patients during this time, we will be answering phone calls for those of you who have orthodontic questions or concerns. 314-962-6242.

We appreciate your patience as we strive to do our part to support the public health and safety of our community.