Know Your Orthodontic Appliances

Post by: / January 1, 2018

Orthodontics can be intimidating when you’re just starting treatment. There’s so much technology that goes into creating a gorgeous smile, but what does it all do? Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to know if you’re about to begin your orthodontic journey:


The most common orthodontic equipment is braces. Worn over a set amount of time, this method of treatment can drastically improve nearly any smile. Braces are made up of three main components that work together to set your teeth into proper alignment:

  • Brackets. Tiny hashtag-shaped brackets that are cemented to your teeth.
  • Archwire. The metal wire that spans across all of your brackets.
  • Ligatures. The small elastics that hold the archwire in place against the brackets.


Your smile is as unique as you are; because of this, there is no cookie-cutter solution to crooked teeth. As a way to customize your treatment, orthodontists will often use an assortment of “accessories” to ensure that your journey is tailored to your needs. You may need one or a combination of these:

  • Spacers. These little elastics would be used before you get your braces. They move your molars apart ever so slightly. This is so that the bands used to anchor your braces will be able to fit.
  • Palatal Expanders. If you have a narrow palate, you may need this appliance.. A palatal expander works to widen your palate so that the shape and size is conducive to a proper bite.
  • Holding Arch. Holding arches are used when baby teeth are lost too early and there is a concern that the existing teeth will crowd the spaces where the new teeth need to grow in.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the equipment you may come across, but rather a quick look into the most common of them. As always, our team here at Cory Liss Orthodontics is happy to answer any and all questions you have about your treatment. Give us a call today!