92 Timber Creek & 2670 Union Ext'd


Braces – Memphis, TN


Braces  |  Parts of Braces  | Orthodontic Procedures

Braces come in several types. The guide below will explain the major components of orthodontic appliances, whether you want adult braces in the Memphis area or braces for kids or teens.

Types of Braces

Movement of teeth may be performed with a number of different “appliances.”  Metal braces, the most commonly used type of bracket (or appliance), are attached to the teeth with a sealant-like adhesive, and provides the most efficient tooth movement.

Ceramic brackets, also attached to the teeth, are far less visible and are efficient as well, but usually are more expensive.

Lingual braces are attached to the “inside” of the teeth.  Moving teeth with this type of appliance generally takes longer and costs more; therefore, this appliances is not as efficient as metal or ceramic brackets.

Clear aligners
And finally, aligners (appliances such as ClearCorrect) are removable, clear, retainer-like appliances which move teeth in small increments, but are incapable of providing optimum movement in difficult orthodontic cases.  Aligners are used to treat minor orthodontic problems effectively, but cannot be used for complex orthodontic problems.

Parts of Braces

Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth which moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.

The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.

A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth and goes completely around your tooth. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.

The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

A metal or ceramic part cemented (“bonded”) to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.

Elastic (Rubber Band)
A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.

Elastic Tie
The rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. “O’s” come in a variety of colors.

A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.

A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

Palatal Expander
A device that makes your upper jaw wider.

An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable and others are bonded to the tongue-side of several teeth.

Separator (or Spacer)
A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.

Tie Wire
A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.

Orthodontic Procedures

The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands and brackets to your teeth.

The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.

Cephalometic X-ray
An x-ray of your head which shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws and teeth.

An alternative to traditional braces, ClearCorrect is a system of aligners to do minor tooth movement. Custom-molded, clear aligners can correct some, but not all, orthodontic conditions.

A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.

The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

The process of making a model of your teeth by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.

The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

Panoramic X-ray
An x-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw and other facial areas.