The Bracket – is the piece that is attached by adhesive to the enamel of the tooth. It can be made out of different materials like stainless steel or ceramic. The adhesive does not harm the enamel long term. If someone has a problem with their braces, it is usually that the bracket has come off of the tooth and moves along the wire. If the last bracket is the mouth, usually on the molars, comes off, then the wire pokes the inside of the cheek. The bracket has usually four wings and a slot in the middle (see picture below). Every Orthodontist has their own type of brackets that they like to use for orthodontic treatment.
The Hooks – are parts of the brackets that rubber bands and other items can be attached. Some orthodontists have hooks on every bracket. In the picture of the mouth above a hook can be seen on the maxillary cuspids.
The Arch Wire – is the wire that goes through the slots of the brackets. The arch wire is what a orthodontist will change often and can be made of various materials and comes in different sizes.
The Elastic Ties – is the rubber tie that holds the arch wire into place. This is the fun part of braces because the elastic ties are changed everytime you come to an orthodontic visit. They come in different colors. Make sure you read my article on “What Colors Do Braces Come In?”