When you want straighter teeth in an attractive smile, braces might be the right solution for you—or a family member. With braces, come a few classic components that make them work effectively: archwires and elastics.
At Macdonald Orthodontics, we love using time-tested technologies such as braces as well as cutting-edge systems like Invisalign®. We offer options that will give you the healthiest smiles and save you time and money.
What Are Archwires?
Traditional braces are a dependable system that has been tested for decades and is effective for straightening teeth in almost any case. The following are the main components of braces:
- Brackets: Metal or ceramic fasteners/handles that are attached to the teeth.
- Archwires: Metal wires that run the length of a row of teeth and are fastened to each bracket. So named because each row of teeth is called an “arch.”
- Elastics: Rubber or wire bands that help secure the archwire to the brackets.
The goal of braces is to put appropriate pressure on teeth, getting them to move gradually. The archwire provides the energy for this. Your orthodontist will carefully select the right size of archwire for you, along with adjusting it to keep your teeth moving.
An archwire may also be used in a retainer to prevent your teeth from moving after the main phase of orthodontic treatment.
The wire in a round archwire is circular. If you were to cut it and view it end-on, you’d see it was round. Round archwires are mainly used when you first get your braces. They help to align and level your teeth.
These archwires are shaped so that if you viewed a cross-section of them, they’d be rectangular. They are mainly used when you’re closer to finishing with braces. They help to refine the last stages of tooth movement.
What Are Elastics in Orthodontics?
Elastics, also known as rubber bands, help to apply needed pressure to a certain area of the teeth. Your orthodontist might position them in several different configurations, connecting brackets together, to correct a wide range of issues, such as:
- Open bites.
- Spaces between teeth.
- Teeth leaning backward.
Elastics are often rated by the force they carry, coming in light, medium, and light varieties. Your brackets include metal hooks that secure them in place.
For our young (or young-at-heart) patients, we have plenty of color options, so you can add your unique style to your braces.
Elastic Ties to Secure the Archwire
Remember, brackets transfer the energy of the archwire to your teeth, pulling them to healthier positions. But to be able to hold on to thin metal wires, brackets need some help.
This is where elastics ties come in. We use a certain type of elastic that is wrapped around each bracket to help it clamp effectively onto the archwire. However, metal ties can also be used for this purpose.
Will I Need Elastics?
Each case is different. You may need elastics if you are using braces and your orthodontist sees that elastics would help move your teeth more effectively.
If needed, your orthodontist will carefully select certain brackets and attach elastics between them. They may connect upper and lower arches of teeth, especially if you have a bite issue.
Get Quality Braces in Mesa and Gilbert at Macdonald Orthodontics
If you need orthodontic treatment for straighter teeth in our area, don’t worry! At Macdonald Orthodontics, we keep our patients as comfortable as possible. We also respect your time, starting and ending appointments punctually.
Our orthodontists have many years of experience selecting and using archwires and elastics in braces effectively. Contact us for an orthodontic consultation and take the first step toward an amazing new smile.