reese orthodontics logo
reese orthodontics appointment request

Same-Day Starts, Braces, and Consultations Available!

Your Top-Rated Orthodontist in
Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

orthofi patient login
reese orthodontics logo image
request appointment button

Same-Day Starts, Braces, and Consultations Available!

Your Top-Rated Orthodontist in
Charleston, SC, For Braces & Invisalign

patient login orthofi

Braces may have a one-word name, but they are composed of several important parts. Some of these parts may be changed, removed, or omitted from your treatment depending on your needs. Regardless, understanding the parts of your braces and how they work can help you prevent problems and better take care of your teeth while they’re being treated. Whether you’ve had your braces for a while or are just considering your options at the moment, read on to learn more.

Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.

Schedule Appointment


Brackets are the most obvious part of your braces. They are attached to the front of your teeth with special chemical adhesive. They support the wire that applies the pressure that moves your teeth, allowing it to hold on and do its job.

Brackets can be customized with different materials and colors such as ceramic or metal variants. Ceramic brackets are often more expensive, but they remain a popular option due to their subtler appearance. They’re equally effective in your treatment, despite the difference in appearance.


Archwires are bent to match the curvature of your teeth. They hook into the brackets to provide the pressure needed to slowly reposition your teeth over time. While the brackets stay on, the wire can be removed, tightened, or replaced with a more heavy-duty one to accelerate treatment.

Consider the case of two teeth that have a gap in between. The archwire loosens the teeth from a membrane that exists between your teeth and jawbone, making them possible to move. Over time, they move slowly along the wire like cars on a track until the gap is closed.

Molar Bands

Molar bands are an optional but commonplace part of many braces. They anchor the wire using brackets that are cemented to the patient’s molars using a special adhesive. They’re usually made of stainless steel or another durable metal.

Molar bands are useful in the following instances:

  • When large gaps need to be closed between teeth
  • When the patient needs a special appliance such as an upper jaw expander
  • When the patient requires corrective jaw surgery

The bands keep the brackets from breaking through their welded attachments to the archwire.

Rubber Bands

Removable rubber bands can also be used to aid in treatment. Elastic bands attach to the brackets on the top and lower rows of teeth. They are especially useful when your orthodontist wants your braces to correct your bite, as they can coerce your top and lower jaw into the correct alignment over time.


Ligatures are also elastic bands, but they aren’t as obvious. These tiny bands wrap around the brackets and attach the archwire to them. They must be replaced whenever your braces are adjusted. However, many patients enjoy swapping them out for different colors to make for a more individualized treatment between visits.

Power Chain

Power chains are one more type of elastic band that must be replaced at each adjustment appointment. They look like elastic rings tied together between the teeth. They’re often used when your orthodontist doesn’t want the braces to separate teeth too far.

They can stretch the chain over the affected brackets, allowing the teeth to more effectively close gaps. The default color is grey, but there are other unique colors available as well. Since power chains must be replaced at each orthodontic appointment, new colors can be swapped out each time.

Coil Spring

Due to the unique placement of many patients’ teeth, the brackets can sometimes be too close together. In that case, a coil spring can be inserted over the wire between those teeth to add extra pressure on that spot. This will help push the teeth apart, so the braces aren’t so crowded.

Choose Reese Orthodontics

Understanding the parts of your braces and how they work can help you better take care of your teeth while they’re being treated. For orthodontic care in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic options can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatments are right for you. 

Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible care in your area.

Schedule Appointment

Easy Ways To Get Started

If you want to learn more about our orthodontic practice - where we offer extensive experience with a Board Certified Orthodontist, where we offer a satisfaction guarantee, and where we offer flexible payment options - Reese Orthodontics is here to serve you.

"Dr. Reese and staff share an inviting personality with a clean and professional atmosphere. I am very happy with the service, the product and the final result. I would encourage any of my friends and family to consult with Dr. Reese around their Orthodontic needs."
- Austin H.
"It has been a great experience all around getting braces at Dr. Reese Orthodontics. It's a great office with wonderful and friendly staff. I am extremely happy with the results. Can't say enough good things about Dr. Reese and his staff. I highly recommend him!"
- Nicole S.
"Dr. Reese and his staff was referred to me by a friend, and I highly recommend them! They were friendly, professional, helpful and quick to respond. I could not be happier with the results of Invisalign. I wore them about 7 months and my teeth are as straight as can be. Thank you for the great care and results!"
- Dancy E.
"I chose the absolute perfect orthodontist to perfect my smile. Dr. Reese has a personality that calms you and removes the anxiety that may come with the process. Dr. Reese is a true artist. I am so excited with my new smile. Dr. Reese accomplished the goals I was looking for and I am forever grateful. Thank you Dr. Reese!!!"
- Melanie C.
"Just awesome! Dr. Reese is the one to go to. He knows what he's doing and is great at what he does. Makes you feel like family every time you go visit. I can't get over how great my smile looks now. Definitely recommended."
- Harsha P.
*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Reese Orthodontics.
Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
click here to read reese orthodontic reviews
reese orthodontics smile gallery
view more happy smiles at reese orthodontics
reese orthodontics west ashley sc

Our Charleston
Orthodontic Office

2057 Charlie Hall Blvd. STE D
Charleston, SC 29414


Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM

click here for directions
request reese orthodontics appointment
Dr. Reese McElveen, our award-winning orthodontist in Charleston, South Carolina has transformed the smiles of over 11,000 patients. Reese Orthodontics offers the most advanced orthodontic care for children and adults. Types of braces and orthodontic treatment include metal braces, clear braces, gold braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Damon Braces, SureSmile. Dr. Reese can even help you achieve your confident smile faster with AcceleDent.

Call 843.573.7279 today to schedule your appointment with our board certified orthodontist in Charleston, SC, at our conveniently located Charleston orthodontic office. Come experience Reese Orthodontics and you will see for yourself that we offer innovative and effective orthodontic care in Charleston, Downtown Charleston, West Ashley, James Island, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Johns Island, Goose Creek, Hanahan and Ladson, South Carolina (SC).