The Parts of Orthodontic Braces

Orthodontic Care Across Newport Beach & Costa Mesa, CA

At Starnes Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on providing high quality orthodontic care while maintaining a gold standard in customer service. Dr. Starnes and our highly trained team of orthodontic specialists work hard to make our patients comfortable every time they come in the office, and we strive to design specialized treatment plans that perfectly suit our patients' orthodontic needs. We get a lot of questions from our patients, but some of the most common are about how braces work - what do all those little parts do, anyways?

Joining Forces for a Straighter Smile


Bands are like the anchors of braces. They're metal rings that wrap around the molars or premolars and are cemented in place with a special fluoridated dental cement that prevents tooth decay during treatment. Once in place, bands give the braces a solid anchor point to apply pressure from.


Brackets are the small metal studs that adorn each tooth and give braces their famous look. They're cemented onto the teeth, then the archwire fits into a slot in the brackets and is locked in place with an elastic band.


The archwire does most of the heavy lifting of moving teeth. This thin metal wire is shaped specifically to fit your mouth, and combined with the brackets, it applies a gentle force on each tooth to bring them all into alignment.


Elastics are the tiny rubber bands that hold the archwire to the brackets. They come in different colors, so we can even customize them to fit your own sense of style!


Hooks are small attachments that protrude from the brackets. They're used to attach rubber bands for altering jaw positioning.

Coil Spring

The coil spring is an innovative device that fits onto the archwire between to brackets. It applies an outward pressure on the brackets, helping to separate teeth in an overcrowded mouth.

Contact Us – Your Costa Mesa & Newport Beach Orthodontist For More Info!

Have more questions about braces or want to come in for a visit? We're here to help! Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our Newport Beach, CA office. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy new smile!