What Are The Main Elements of Braces?

Braces are essential in orthodontic care to strengthen teeth and boost oral health and looks. At Champlain Orthodontics, we go through the details of braces during your first consultation, but let’s get an early look at what makes braces work before stepping into our office. Read below to learn about the main elements of braces.

Knowing Your Braces

Braces are made of several key parts, each crafted to align your teeth quickly and boost your smile. Explore the main elements of braces, such as brackets, archwires, and bands, so you’ll understand their roles and what to expect during your treatment. 


Brackets are small squares attached to your teeth during orthodontic treatment. They act as the main anchor for braces and hold the archwire that moves the teeth into place. Dr. Eaton positions each bracket with precision to control tooth movement. 

Made from durable materials like metal or ceramic, brackets are key for successfully realigning your teeth toward a healthier and more attractive smile.


Archwires run through each bracket and play an important role in aligning your teeth. Crafted from metal, the archwire applies gentle and constant pressure on the brackets to guide your teeth into their right positions.

As your treatment continues, we’ll adjust your archwire’s tension and shape to fine-tune your smile. These adjustments keep your smile on track and your journey moving forward.


These sturdy metal rings are cemented to your teeth, typically the molars, and act as extra anchors for the braces. They go completely around each tooth to provide a stable base for other components like brackets and archwires. 


An extra boost to fix your smile, elastics align the jaw and correct the bite. They stretch between your brackets from the top to bottom teeth. They exert pressure to adjust the position of teeth between each other and the jawline. We’ll customize the placement and tension of elastics to get the best adjustments to your smile.


O-rings are small rings that secure the archwire to the brackets on each tooth. Made from colorful rubber, O-rings hold the wire firmly in place to make sure consistent force is applied to move your teeth. 

Regular adjustments at our office involve changing these O-rings to maintain the tension as your teeth gradually shift into their new positions.


These little rings are temporarily placed between your teeth shortly before braces are put on. They gently push the teeth apart to create the needed space to fit orthodontic bands around your molars. 

Spacers are vital for preparing your mouth for braces so that your bands can be placed comfortably and correctly. Once the bands are securely in place, the spacers are removed, and you’ll start the next stage of your orthodontic treatment.

What Are the Main Elements of Braces?

Additional Appliances

Besides the main components, we’ll use other appliances to boost your orthodontic treatment, like palatal expanders and headgear. These are tailored to meet specific needs, from jaw alignment to correcting bite issues. 

Palatal Expanders

Palatal expanders are fitted to the upper jaw to gradually widen the upper palate. These correct bite problems and make room for crowded teeth. They’re effective in younger patients and need adjustments to make optimal alignment and spacing.


Headgear is often used to correct severe bite problems and guide jaw growth in children. Headgear has a strap worn around the back of the head, connected to the braces, exerting external pressure. This device helps slow or alter jaw growth and align the teeth properly. 

Typically, headgear is worn for several hours daily, mostly during the evening or at night.

Maintenance & Care

Keeping your braces in their best condition is key to creating the best results and maintaining the best oral health. Regular cleaning is essential. Brush gently with a soft toothbrush and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from around brackets and wires. 

Also, avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that could damage your braces. Dr. Ryan and Dr. Eaton will give you instructions on how to care for your braces, including using specialized cleaning tools like interdental brushes or water flossers. 

Regular check-ups are vital to adjust your braces, monitor your progress, and help you achieve a beautiful smile with healthy teeth.

What Are the Main Elements of Braces?

Getting Your Braces At Champlain Orthodontics 

At Champlain Orthodontics, you’ll have all the information you need to have a successful treatment with braces. If you have any more questions about braces, reach out and give us a call. If you’re ready to start your path to a new smile, schedule your free consultation today. We’re ready to help you in Williston and St. Albans!