The Different Parts of Braces and What They Do

Accepting braces into your daily routine is a significant decision to make, even more so when you are brand new to learning about the world of orthodontics. This appliance has many moving parts to make your treatment as effective as possible. Buttram Orthodontics is passionate about helping you comprehend the different parts of braces and what they do to help you be more mindful of your appliance and keep it in perfect condition.

The Basics of Braces

The most recognizable orthodontic treatment out there, braces are an appliance used to realign your teeth and jaw to their ideal positioning and help you achieve the smile of your dreams. You have the power to stop dental issues from taking over any aspect of your life and proactively work toward improving yourself.

There are plenty of benefits to experience that make straightening your smile well worth the investment. Many include improving your general health, such as a more effortless sleeping experience, smoother digestion and decreased chance of jaw complications.

Thanks to the aesthetics of a fantastic smile, your self-esteem will grow alongside your treatment progression! Those with a realigned grin can take on both professional and personal situations more easily as they do not have to worry about their outward appearance.

Your Treatment Options

Metal: A traditional yet reliable choice of appliance, metal braces have held up as an effective treatment against complex dental issues thanks to years of continuous advancements.

Ceramic: This aesthetic choice, also known as clear braces, allows patients the ability to have a nearly invisible appliance while still actively working towards the smile they deserve.

The Anatomy Of Braces Explained


Affixed to your teeth are brackets, small square-shaped attachments that act as anchor points for many other parts. They are smaller than ever now and no longer stick out on your teeth as visibly. Each attachment point can help Dr. Buttram individually control the direction of each tooth and customize placement to your specific needs.

We craft brackets unique to your teeth and the appliance you decide on. Our metal brackets are made of high-grade stainless steel. Our other option is made of tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic material to give your smile a natural look so as not to disturb your everyday life.

The Different Parts of Braces and What They Do


A special orthodontic glued dubbed bonding cement is utilized to keep your brackets securely attached to your teeth throughout your time in braces. When feeling your brackets, it may feel like it will be impossible to get off your teeth after treatment is up, but the glue is made to be easily removed with the right tools. When the time comes, Dr. Buttram can do so during a quick, painless procedure. 


The archwire is a long piece of wire that is threaded through each of the brackets. Its primary responsibility is to place calculated pressure across your teeth and push them in the correct direction. This wire responds to small bends and movement in its position, so Dr. Buttram can easily adjust it to your needs. 

Depending on your needs, the component is available in different thicknesses and may be cut in a particular way to achieve your smile goals.  

Orthodontic Bands

Though not used for everyone, orthodontic metal bands are custom-made appliances placed on your back molars for stability and support. They are used as another way of securing the archwire in place to prevent it from moving and incorrectly shifting your teeth. Precise placement is decided based on your treatment plan. 


Sometimes, your molars are too crowded to place a metal band for effective treatment. Our team sets elastic spacers between your back molars, in this case, to create space! This way, we can painlessly place the bands on your teeth to keep your treatment moving. They are sometimes also referred to as separators.

The Different Parts of Braces and What They Do


If you have especially stubborn teeth, Dr. Buttram uses the power of elastics to shift your teeth as efficiently as possible. These small rubber bands are attached to your upper and lower bracket hooks to force the jaw and teeth in a certain direction. They are available in different sizes and strengths to only move what is necessary.

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. It is typically used during two-phase treatment for young children. The metal plates delicately push your bones apart by expanding the metal device 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. 

Remember To Take Care of Your Appliance

The power of braces is incredible, and nothing makes our team happier than the results you get to smile about once treatment is finished. Whether your time in braces is for three months or three years, you can be sure that the investment in upkeeping your dental health is well worth it.

As strong as our materials are, they are still susceptible to breaking if not taken care of properly. If you experience any kind of breakage or other emergency during treatment, don’t panic. Our team is prepared to help you recover and get your treatment back on schedule.

The Different Parts of Braces and What They Do

Take the First Step Towards Treatment Today! 

If you are ready to begin your braces journey, we can’t wait to meet with you! Buttram Orthodontics is proud to offer each new potential patient a free consultation where we can closely examine your teeth, provide you with a treatment plan to realign them into the perfect smile and answer any lingering questions you may have. Contact our Panama City practice to schedule an appointment today!