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3M Unitek Patients

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3M Unitek Patients EU Teens MaterialsNeeded

The parts of the system

"What a lot of parts!" Many people think so when they take a close look at fixed braces. Here we tell you what parts go into fixed braces and what they do.

Materials needed

Other components

Bent straight: Archwires return your teeth to form

Archwire Archwire


The archwire handles the actual job of fixed braces and ensures your teeth move to the right place. Archwires come in different sizes, strengths, shapes and materials, depending on what misalignment they need to be used for. They attach securely to each individual brace using ligatures (little rubber bands). Archwires attach to self-ligating braces with a clip.

You want to know exactly how archwires are fitted? Your orthodontist will be happy to tell you.

Everything is under control! Bands secure your braces like an anchor.

Bands Bands


Bands aren't really proper bands, but metal rings that attach to your molars so they can secure fixed braces like an anchor. Your orthodontist will decide if you need bands for your braces or if bondable tubes are sufficient.

This holds: Braces attach to your teeth with special glue.

Adhesive Adhesive


To stick the braces to your teeth, the orthodontist roughens your tooth surfaces with a special gel, so that the adhesive can grip. The orthodontist has various ways to attach the braces, and the most popular way is light cure adhesive: It only hardens if a special orthodontic light is held over it for a few seconds.

Crazy: A buffer in my mouth

In some cases, e.g. in so called Class II maloclusions, a special device is needed. This Forsus™ Fatigue Resistant Device will be fixed to the braces and archwires on your upper and lower jaw to align your bite. Your orthodontist will explain in detail if and why you might need this buffer.

Oh no: Implants at my age

Again, in some cases mini-implants or so called temporary anchorage devices are needed. It is a small metal screw that is inserted through the gum into the jaw bone to act as an anchor to help move poorly positioned teeth. No worries, mini-implants are only needed in a few cases and are not painful. You only may have a mild ache from the area after the anaesthetic wears off.

There are many more small components that might be used during your treatment. Your orthodontist will be happy to tell you more during your treatment planning appointment or during treatment.

Find an orthodontist


Success story with braces