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Throughout your orthodontic treatment, you may hear your orthodontists refer to different parts of your braces that you had no idea even existed. Some terms may be familiar and some may sound like an entirely different language. It is important to know what these terms mean so that you can be the most efficient in your dental hygiene practices with your braces.

Bands: a ring of metal that fits around the molars and/or premolars. The bands are supposed to fit tight and are sealed using a form of dental cement containing fluoride.

Arch wire: the main wire that weaves through brackets and guides teeth and direction of the movement of the teeth.

Brackets: a bracket is attached to the tooth to hold the archwire in place. They also help to engage the arch wire.

Elastics: tiny, colorful elastics used to attach to your braces to your archwire

Hooks: small attachments on the brackets to attach elastics securely onto brackets

Tie Wire: A very small wire is placed and twisted around a bracket to hold the archwire in place

Next time you go to the orthodontist, you will know what he or she is saying to you and you won’t have to smile and nod any longer.