Back to Top

The Comfort, Care and Personalized Treatment You Deserve

Conservative Treatment Aligned With Each Patient’s Goals

lingual braces

Parts of Braces and Their Importance

Posted on: July 14, 2017

What role does each part of braces play? The brackets, bands, wires and even our oral health guidelines all play a vital role to the health of your teeth and the success of your teeth straightening. Braces have been perfected over the years to provide you various options for teeth straightening through traditional metal braces, lingual braces, ceramic clear braces, Invisalign and more. These options weren’t available in years past, and each option has been perfected to provide you quick and efficient teeth straightening. Find out why each part of braces is important and what role each piece plays when it comes to your oral health.


Parts of Braces

Traditional metal braces have been around for decades. We still offer these braces because frankly, they work so well. Metal braces are also the most popular orthodontic option because they work to straighten your teeth the quickest and are the most cost-effective orthodontic option you can find. The metal we use is strong and sturdy. Metal braces are made from stainless steel, but can also be used in combination with titanium. There are three main parts of braces: the brackets, the wire, and the ligature elastics that go around the brackets:

  • Brackets – These are the small metal pieces that are bonded to each tooth center using special glue. This glue ensures that the brackets stick to your teeth. The glue is gentle enough that it can be removed once your time with braces has finished. Brackets are made of stainless steel but also can be made white (tooth colored) or clear. These brackets hold the archwire for the teeth.
  • Wire – This wire is actually known as the “archwire”. It is the metal wire that connects all of the brackets together in your mouth. You will have one archwire that is along the upper teeth and one that is along the lower teeth. This wire curves around the teeth and puts pressure on the teeth so that they come into proper alignment in the mouth. This is the main player that works to move your teeth in the right direction.
  • Ligature Elastics – These are the rubber bands that attach the archwire to the brackets on each tooth. Without these ligature elastics, the archwire would not be sturdy and couldn’t do its job.


Additional Parts of Braces

There are more than just these three parts of braces.

  • Headgear – This is an external appliance used in orthodontic care to help realign the face and jaw during your time with braces. There is retraction headgear and protraction headgear. Retraction headgear is an appliance used to retract the upper jaw. Protraction headgear moves the upper jaw forward and into proper alignment with the lower jaw. Headgear will consists of a single strap that fits around your neck and attaches to the front of your teeth. There is a second type of headgear that attaches to your braces, but the headgear has straps that fit over your head and neck. Not all patients will receive headgear unless it is really needed.
  • Springs – Many braces have springs to help push and pull the teeth in the right direction. These springs generally attach to the arch wires and are located between the brackets of each tooth. The purpose of the springs are to open up or close up spaces between the teeth as they shift.
  • Elastic Rubber Bands – Some patients need the additional shifting power of rubber bands to help the teeth move into place on schedule. These bands are attached to the brackets and will go from a lower tooth bracket to an upper tooth bracket. You will receive these rubber bands at your checkup and instruction for attaching your elastic bands at home until your next checkup.


Different Types of Braces

There are more than types of braces than just traditional metal ones. At Belmar Orthodontics we offer the following additional braces options:

  • Incognito Lingual Braces – These braces quite literally go “incognito” as they are hidden inside your mouth. You will receive the same type of treatment as traditional metal braces. However, lingual braces are a hidden treatment apparatus on the tongue-side of your teeth. The brackets and metal are attached here and straighten your teeth without anyone else knowing.
  • Invisalign – Invisalign is one of the stealthiest forms of teeth straightening. It is a series of transparent aligners customized to your teeth. You will change these aligners every 1-2 weeks until your smile is straight. They are easy to clean, easy to remove for eating and sports, and are virtually invisible in the mouth.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – Instead of metal, these braces are made from strong ceramic. They appear very similar to metal braces but are colored to match the shade of your teeth so they blend into the mouth. Even the archwires can be made white.
  • Retainers – You will receive a retainer after your orthodontic braces treatment has been completed. Wearing your customized retainer is vital to maintaining a straight smile, as the teeth can quickly shift out of place. The first month is the most crucial as this is the time when your teeth will shift the most if a retainer isn’t worn.  


Your Free Consultation

Keeping the parts of braces clean will greatly enhance your experience, so following our guidelines will help you find success with your orthodontic care. Proper braces appliances and all their parts will ensure that your teeth shift into perfect alignment in the least amount of time. If you would like to learn more about braces or need to schedule your appointment, call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016!

Temporary Anchorage Devices

What are temporary anchorage devices and what can they do for you? Not all of our patients receive TADs for their teeth, but the ones that do greatly benefit from their straightening power. TADS are small titanium screws we use to help our our patients move their teeth. We place the screw in the gum and jaw bone and it acts as an anchor point for the teeth. We specialize in many methods of teeth straightening such as traditional braces, Invisalign, lingual braces and more, but also employ the use of TADs as needed to give our patients an exceptional smile. They can even aid in creating quicker tooth movement in our patients to achieve the desired straightening effect that is needed. Learn more about all of our straightening methods and which one is right for you. If you need TADs, you can trust in our expertise and finesse with giving you a straightening experience you will enjoy at Belmar Orthodontics.


The Advancement of Orthodontics

Orthodontics has come a long way from the crude methods of straightening practiced centuries ago. Extensive headgear and wires were used to straighten the teeth in the past. We benefit today from advanced technology that allows us many options when it comes to straightening the teeth, even discrete options. Temporary anchorage devices (TADs) are one of the methods we employ at Belmar Orthodontics when it’s in the best interest of the patient. Temporary anchorage devices work with braces to get your teeth straighter, faster. How do they work though?


Tidbits About Temporary Anchorage Devices

Temporary anchorage devices help shift the teeth into a straighter position when braces can’t do the job on their own. Braces are usually sufficient for most patients, but we want all of our patients to benefit from amazing, straight smiles and because of this we use TADs to get them all the way there. TADs consist of small, titanium mini-screws called “mini-implants” or “micro-implants”. These implants are fixed objects that braces use to push, pull, lift or intrude teeth while straightening. Just think of them as anchor points that are amazing tools for braces to get your teeth straighter. Once inserted, TADs do not move, but Dr. Hardy is able to use them to move the teeth in directions and distances that were not previously possible. 


How Do They Work?

Temporary anchorage devices are installed quite easy, much like other orthodontic options. You have to be a good candidate for TADs to receive them. This means free of gum disease and you need a strong jaw. Your gum tissue and jaw area will be numbed much like they are numbed at a dental office before a procedure. Then Dr. Hardy will insert the tiny metal screws in areas that will help your teeth to move the most. The insertion process will be completely painless. Adjustment to TADs might take a day or two. The adjustment process should be no different than adjusting to metal braces. Adjusting to any type of straightening device takes time. We will remove the TADs once your teeth have moved into proper place. It’s literally that easy.


Traditional Straightening Options

We have many options for straightening instead of solely relying on traditional metal braces. We’ll still include metal braces on our list though:

  • Traditional Braces – These are the standard metal braces that we all know and love. The great thing about “traditional” braces is that they are traditional for a reason. They are strong and highly effective with moving the teeth. Most of our patients get to dress up their brackets with a variety of colors at each visit too. This is usually the most cost-effective option when it comes to straightening the teeth.
  • Ceramic Braces – These are basically your traditional metal braces, except for the fact that they can be made white to match the color of your teeth. The wires and brackets are both made white so they are virtually unnoticeable in your mouth. Ceramic braces are made of ceramic material. Ceramic is harder to stain and easier to clean than metal.


Discreet Straightening Options

Want a straight smile without others knowing? Try lingual braces or Invisalign!

  • Lingual Braces – Take a step up from traditional and ceramic braces with lingual braces. These braces are called “incognito” braces because they do just that—go incognito! We customize lingual braces to the shape of your teeth. We then attach them behind the teeth instead of in front. You’ll receive all the strength and functionality of metal braces without the visibility. 
  • InvisalignInvisalign is perhaps the most discreet form of teeth straightening. These transparent, removable aligners are perfect for teens and adults who want a straighter smile and don’t have bite problems. You will receive customizable aligners that change every few weeks so that the teeth are constantly falling into a straighter position. Oral care is easier, you can remove them at your leisure, and you will come out in the end with a straight smile—which is what we all want!


If you ever need to have TADs, just know that you are going to be having a powerful straightening experience that usually takes less time than it otherwise would to receive your beautiful, straight smile. We could all benefit from a little more time, right? To learn more about all your straightening options, call our Belmar Orthodontics office today at (303) 225-9016!

Go Incognito with Lingual Braces

Posted on: April 21, 2017


lingual braces

You’ve seen metal brackets. You heard of Invisalign and other transparent aligners. What you might not have heard of is lingual braces. These types of braces are the newer, cutting-edge trend in recent years that are making the braces experience that much better for the wearer. Whether metal braces are just not your “thing” or you want to straighten your teeth discretely, it’s definitely worth checking out lingual braces. These braces are placed behind your teeth instead of in front, hiding that they’re even there. It’s perfect for those who don’t like the traditional look of braces or those who want to straighten their teeth without the hassle of cleaning metal brackets. Plus, lingual braces are attached to your teeth, so there is no risk of losing them. There are many methods of placing lingual braces on your teeth and your orthodontist can help make a personalized plan just for you. Find out what lingual braces are and the services we can provide you at Belmar Orthodontics.


A Straighter Smile for Increased Success

With ever-changing technology, there are now more options than ever to straighten your smile without disrupting your routine. Lingual braces are one of the new trends that we believe will be around for years to come. The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) has done several studies about adult braces and have found that adults are seeking orthodontic care in record numbers. Of the more than 4.5 million braces wearers, at least 25% of them are adults. There was a 14% increase in adult braces between 2010-2012 alone, and that number has risen each consecutive year. Why are so many adults seeking braces? Studies show that braces not only straighten your teeth, but make you appear more successful, attractive and trustworthy to others. Adults see braces as a necessity, not a luxury when it comes to having success in their home, professional and educational life. We offer Invisalign transparent aligners in our office (especially for adults), which allow our patients to straighten their smiles discreetly. Invisalign is not for every patient, which is why we offer more alternatives for our patients. That discrete form of teeth straightening—which we love—comes in the form of lingual braces.


Incognito Straightening with Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are actually the Incognito Hidden Braces brand of teeth straightening. It says it all in the name: hidden braces that lets you straighten your teeth in secret. We are so excited about this new twist on traditional braces! Adults and teenagers will sometimes avoid orthodontic care because they don’t want to appear too young (such as in a business setting) or they think they’ve passed an acceptable age to have braces. We want to tell you that you are never too late to have the beautiful smile you deserve. With Incognito Lingual Braces made with 3M technology, we can offer you an orthodontic experience much like traditional braces, but only better. You can finally get that straighter smile you’ve been waiting on! How do lingual braces work?


How They Straighten

Lingual braces straighten teeth by working discretely on the inside of the mouth instead of out in the open on the front of your teeth. We will take impression molds of your teeth so that custom-fit metal brackets and wires can be made for each individual tooth. Those impressions will be sent to a special lab, where each individual bracket will be custom-made for your mouth. In your appointment with us, we will then bond the metal brackets to the back of each tooth a little bit below the tooth line so that the brackets are hidden from view. Instead of the same-size bracket for each tooth like traditional braces have, each bracket is smoothly molded to the shape of the incisor, canine or molar that it attaches to you. The brackets will not disrupt your normal eating habits and will quickly become a normal part of your day—so much so that eventually you won’t even notice them. The straightening process takes the normal 18 or so months, but can take less time depending on your teeth and bite. The best part (besides straightening your teeth in secret) is that there is no way you can misplace your orthodontic appliance like you can transparent aligners.


Call for a Lingual Braces Consultation

Want to straighten your teeth in secret but Invisalign isn’t for you? Check out lingual braces and their straightening power today. Not only is this option available for adults, but teenagers as well. Not all orthodontists offer this option, as there is special expertise in creating and installing lingual braces. Dr. Hardy at Belmar Orthodontics however, is highly trained with lingual braces and can set you up on your own personalized plan today. Call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016 for your free consultation and get that beautiful, straight smile you’ve always wanted!