The Different Parts of Braces and What They Do

Have you ever wondered what the different parts of braces are and how they shift your teeth into the perfect position? Well, look no further! Our orthodontists at Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates, Dr. Giarrusso, Dr. Livanos, and Dr. Kotin, are here to explain how each component fits in with each other and help you better understand your appliance as you work toward your smile goals. 

The Fundamentals of Braces

Braces are the appliance orthodontist offices are best known for. This small but mighty tool works to straighten your teeth and jaw, providing light on the other side of the tunnel for even the most complex dental issues. 

Helping orthodontic patients for years, braces continue to provide invaluable treatment with both functional and aesthetic benefits. They improve your oral and general health, proactively help you avoid unnecessary procedures in the future, enhance your smile’s appearance, and boost your self-esteem!

Many children and teens receive braces to address dental issues that are best handled at a young age, such as crowded teeth and bite complications, but patients of all ages can seek out treatment at any time in their adult lives with results that are just as effective.

What Are Our Treatment Options?

Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates is proud to offer metal and clear braces options. Metal braces are a long-trusted appliance that advances each year. They can reliably take on any dental complication and remain a popular appliance among our patients. 

Clear braces work the same way as their metal counterpart while offering the benefits of an aesthetically appealing appearance. These nearly invisible braces are an excellent option for adults and older teens.

Getting To Know How Your Braces Works


This wire spans the length of your upper and lower teeth and is weaved through each bracket on your teeth to stay secured. Being the primary component to shift your teeth, the archwire places calculated pressure on them to form the best alignment. This wire responds to small bends and movement in its position, so our orthodontists can easily adjust it.


The recognizable small square components you see on the front of teeth are known as brackets. They are anchor points for many other pieces that make up your braces. Each attachment’s placement is customized to your unique needs, so our orthodontists can manipulate their direction.

Brackets are made of both metal and ceramic material to accommodate the two treatment options we provide. Our metal brackets, of course, belong to the traditional metal braces. Using high-grade stainless steel, they are very durable and able to withstand the pressure placed on them by the archwire.

Specifically made of a nearly invisible tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic material, clear braces utilize the benefits of these brackets, making them an aesthetic choice for many patients uninterested in drastically changing their appearance to straighten their smile. Though still made of solid material, clear braces are typically recommended for adults and older teens because they are slightly more fragile.


We use a special orthodontic glue known as bonding cement to attach the brackets to your teeth. It may feel irremovable, but rest assured, using the right tools, our orthodontists can do so with special tools, so it is a simple, painless process for you at the end of treatment.


In the case of bad bites or stubborn teeth, elastics complement the work of your archwire by placing additional pressure in the right areas so that each tooth properly makes it to the correct placement promptly. The rubber bands are attached to your upper and lower bracket hooks to move your jaw and teeth. They are available in different sizes and strengths to only move what is necessary.

Orthodontic Metal Bands

If your archwire needs extra stabilization, orthodontic bands come into play. They are attached to your back molars to keep each component in place and shift your teeth in the precise direction your treatment plan is after. Precise placement is decided according to our orthodontists.

The Different Parts of Braces and What They Do

Two-Phase Treatment Components

Sometimes, children have dental complications that need to be tended to but are unable to undergo braces treatment because their baby teeth are still falling out. In this case, space maintainers and palatal expanders are used.


Sometimes, your molars are too crowded to place a metal band for effective treatment. Spacers, also called separators, are small donut-shaped rings set between your teeth to create space between teeth to make space for the bands painlessly. This way, our team can keep your treatment going according to schedule and ensure each component can fit comfortably.

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander is a metal device attached to your top back teeth that stretches out your jaw bones when your teeth need more space to grow into. The metal plates delicately push your bones apart daily by turning them with a small key. Doing so while the jaw is still malleable helps your child avoid more complicated procedures to do the same work later in life. 

Keeping Your Treatment In Place

After accomplishing your smile goals, our team can take off your braces. To keep all your new work in place, we will provide you with a removable or fixed retainer to maintain your new grin. Removable retainers are made up of rounded wire attached to a plastic tray that you place in your mouth, typically full-time for six months after treatment and just nightly afterward. 

Fixed retainers, on the other hand, are smooth metal wires permanently placed on the back of your upper and lower teeth. You don’t have to worry about remembering to keep them in, but taking the extra time to floss and brush the wires properly ensures they stay in top condition.

The Different Parts of Braces and What They Do

Perfect Your Smile With Braces Today!

Working on your dental health can be scary, but our team at Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates are experts in orthodontic care and will help you each and every step of the way. Dr. Giarrusso, Dr. Livanos, and Dr. Kotin are all available for a free consultation at our Worcester, Spencer, and Auburn practice locations. Contact our office today to schedule yours!