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The Basics of Braces

Orthodontics in Enterprise, Dothan & More

The prospect of getting a new beautiful smile with the help of braces is exciting, but many patients worry about how braces will feel or look during treatment. At Wiregrass Orthodontic Specialists, we think that the best way to get over these fears is to have a complete understanding of how braces work to create your new smile in the most efficient way possible. Here is a guide that breaks down the individual parts of braces and their specific functions to help answer any questions you may have.


Bands are the rings of metal that hug the molars. We find the perfect size that fits tightly and snugly against the tooth. The bands are then sealed using fluoride dental cement to help prevent decalcification of the tooth during orthodontic treatment.


The main function of a bracket is to hold the archwire snugly in place. They can either be attached to each tooth or to the band. The bracket contains a small slot that tightly grips the archwire to each tooth.


Archwires are the main wires that fit around the teeth. Each one is specifically shaped to fit around the teeth, and fit into the slot on the bracket. Crooked teeth are straightened by applying pressure through braces. The main pressure is applied from the archwire. The orthodontist will guide the movements of the teeth by directing the archwire.


The elastics are the tiny rubber bands that connect the archwire to the brackets. They come in a variety of color options to complement your smile, and are one of the most exciting parts of orthodontic treatment for adolescents.


Each bracket contains a small hook that holds the elastic in place. At some point during orthodontic treatment, you may be recommended to wear elastics that attach from a hook on the top brackets to a hook on the lower brackets. This helps to correct bite problems and assist the teeth with proper alignment.

Coil Spring

A coil spring is the small metal part in between each bracket. Its main function is to maintain the space between the teeth. The orthodontist will either use the coil spring to help create more space for an additional tooth, or to close in space where there is too much excess between teeth. The coil spring goes through the archwire.

Get Your New Smile Today

At Wiregrass Orthodontic Specialists, we are happy to answer any questions that you may have about your orthodontic treatment options. Our friendly and experienced team is committed to providing the best orthodontic care in Dothan, Enterprise, and Ozark. We also offer free consultations for all new patients. Contact us at 334-792-1000, or stop by any of our local offices and see how we can help you find the smile you’ve always wanted!