Curious of the Components of Braces? | INSTANT FACTS 2020

Curious of the components of braces? The field of orthodontics and oral medicine is exploding today. Developments with technology and imaging have made it possible for orthodontic providers to deliver the next generation in oral health care for patients starting as early as seven years of age! But while most parents and adults understand what the word “orthodontics” means, there is far less clarity about what goes into providing this type of care. In this post, we’re going to show you the components of braces so you know what to expect. Let’s get cracking.


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Components of Braces: An Overview

  • According to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), parents are advised to schedule their child’s first orthodontic checkup on or before the age of seven. Why do this so early in life? Orthodontic professionals now agree that developing issues with the tooth, bite and jaw alignment can be readily identified at this early age. The earlier such issues are detected, the easier it becomes to correct them without major interventions later in life.
  • In fact, today children can be treated with “preventative braces” to guide incoming teeth into their proper places for optimal bite and jaw health. This saves time and money and also safeguards the health of young patients. As a bonus, children who have a positive first experience with a pediatric orthodontist are much more likely to grow up to seek out and welcome proactive, preventative oral health care so they stay healthier throughout life.


The Hardware That Started It All

  • Evolutionary archeologists made medical news headlines when they discovered ancient mummies wearing what appeared to be a primitive form of today’s braces. Thankfully, orthodontic technology has come a long way since those very early days! But to this day, bands, hooks, springs, and wires are still the order of the day for most orthodontic treatment. At first glance, all this gear can look scary to young patients (and even to adult patients)!
  1. What do they do, exactly?
  2. How will all of those pieces fit inside the tiny area of the mouth?
  3. How long will all that hardware have to stay on?
  4. Will it hurt?
  5. If it hurts what can help?
  • These are all normal and natural questions patients of all ages have about begun a course of orthodontic treatment. So let’s take a closer look at what each of these elements is for, what it does and why your orthodontist might recommend it for your treatment.


An Overview of Orthodontic Hardware

Here is an overview of the basic components of a traditional hardware-based orthodontic treatment plan, whether preventative or corrective in nature.


  • The bands are like the foundation of orthodontic treatment. However, not all teeth may require bands – sometimes other hardwire (see next section here) will work just as well. All kinds of materials are used today to secure the hardware to each tooth. Ceramic and metal are the most common and popular choices. Ceramic can only be used on the front of the teeth and generally only for adults. This is because ceramic is less hardy than metal.


  • These are lighter in weight than bands and fit only on the fronts of the teeth. With new orthodontic technology like Incognito and lingual hardware, getting treatment to straighten teeth, align the bite and improve jaw function can be functionally invisible!


  • The archwire is the main point of connection for all the different working parts of orthodontic treatment. This thin wire is customized by your orthodontist to the shape of your mouth and the desired outcome of your treatment. It produces slight but constant pressure that steadily moves the teeth into the optimal alignment.


  • Springs are optional hardware that can allow your orthodontist to deliver customized treatment to certain teeth or groups of teeth.


  • Hooks are used to secure elastic bands between different teeth.


  • Elastic bands interact with the archwires and one or more bracket(s) to more precisely position teeth.


  • Spacers are sometimes used before or during orthodontic treatment to establish and maintain optimal spacing between teeth. They are most commonly made of rubber material.


Which Types of Hardware Will Your Treatment Require?

  • All orthodontists must first complete dental school. But orthodontic professionals must also complete an additional residency of two to three years (or more) to specialize in orthodontics. So by the time an orthodontist starts practicing, they have had upwards of 10 years of formal education and training as well as hands-on practical experience in using the many facets of orthodontic hardware and technology! This means an orthodontist can deliver a deeply personalized, individualized care plan for each patient’s unique oral health challenges.
  • This is also why your care plan is unlikely to look like anyone else’s and this includes the type of hardware used to correct your teeth alignment. Some patients may need spacers or preventative early care while other patients may respond better to Invisalign aligners or Incognito treatment. What is most important to know is that your highly skilled, highly trained orthodontist has a wide variety of tools available to deliver the brightest, healthiest, most beautiful smile to each patient.



Meet Dr. Adam Schulhof

  • Dr. Adam Schulhof is the founder and medical director for the Schulhof Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics in New York and New Jersey. His deeply personalized treatment approach has earned him happy repeat clients from around the country and the globe.
  • Dr. Schulhof was a part of the Lingual Care advisory board from the start and is now recognized as a world leader in lingual orthodontic technology and implementation. He is also the nation’s top provider for the Incognito system and a key contributor to the equally popular Incognito Lite system.



To learn more and schedule your initial no-obligation ‘components of braces‘ complimentary consultation with Dr. Schulhof, please visit us.

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Curious of the Components of Braces? | INSTANT FACTS 2020