Lund | Orthodontics
13106 120th Ave NE - Kirkland, WA 98034 [map] 425.821.5700
22 95th Dr NE - Lake Stevens, WA 98258 [map] 425.335.5700
615 Avenue D - Snohomish, WA 98290 [map] 360.568.5700
Parts of Braces

Orthodontics has come a long way since Dr. Paul had braces as a kid. Technological breakthroughs and a better understanding of biomechanics allow us to greatly increase comfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, and shorten treatment time. We love what we do, and we are always happy to talk with you about braces or answer any questions you may have.

Below are descriptions for many of the various "parts" of braces that we use.


The archwire is the continuous wire that passes through each bracket. The archwire is the main tooth mover in braces. Today's archwires are quite high-tech, made of special alloys that are temperature-sensitive to deliver very light, gentle forces.


An orthodontic band is a thin metal ring that fits around a molar tooth. A band has a bracket attached to hold the archwire to the band. While we rarely use bands, they come in handy for a tooth that is not suitable for a bonded bracket.


The bracket is the square attachment bonded or "glued" to each individual tooth. Brackets can be made of metal or clear ceramic. The position of the bracket determines where or how the tooth will move.

Coil Spring

Coil springs are often threaded around the archwire to open or close space between teeth. Typically coil springs are made of a special metal with "memory." This means they work continuously without wearing out. Coil springs are a great way to apply light pressures to move teeth quickly and comfortably.

Elastic Chain

Elastic chains may be used in place of single ligature ties to hold the archwire to the bracket. Elastic chains are most often used to either close spaces between teeth or keep spaces closed.


An expander widens the upper jaw by putting gentle, outward pressure on the upper molars. Expanders work especially well at a young age (pre-teens) when the upper jaw is still developing. Our expander design is small, comfortable and easy to keep clean.


The Forsus is a new type of orthodontic appliance that brings the lower teeth and jaw forward to deliver a good healthy bite. It is easy to place and is worn for a few months. Because it stays in place during eating and brushing, it is continuously working and you don't have to worry about remembering to take it in and out.


We use the latest design of the Herbst® appliance for those that have a lower jaw that is particularly set back or retrusive. Lund Orthodontics has seen the Herbst® appliance work beautifully on hundreds of patients for over 10 years. The Herbst® appliance has helped our patients avoid the use of headgear and jaw surgery.

Invisalign® Aligners

Invisalign aligners look like clear bleaching trays, and they are an alternative to metal or clear braces. You receive a series of aligners, and each aligner is worn for a couple of weeks. Aligners are virtually undetectable, easy-to-use and comfortable to wear. Not only are the aligners nearly invisible, they are also removable so you can eat, drink, brush and floss with no problems.


Ligature ties are tiny elastic rings that help hold the archwire to the bracket. Elastic ligatures come in a rainbow of various colors, and our patients love selecting a different color at every appointment.

Lower Lingual Arch

The lower lingual arch is another appliance that has many uses. It is most commonly used when our young patients are losing baby teeth and space needs to be held open for the adult teeth to grow into place. The beauty of the lower lingual arch is that it is simple, versatile, easy to clean, comfortable and works great.


Retainers can be removable or permanently bonded to the teeth. They are included in your treatment after comprehensive orthodontic care is complete. While tooth movement is a normal biologic process over the course of our entire life, retainers are needed to minimize movement. We recommend lifetime retainer wear.

Rubber Bands / Elastics

Rubber bands or elastics have several uses. They are primarily used to improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Excellent rubber band wear is often required to achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.


Separators are little rubber rings that may be placed between your teeth for 1-2 weeks. Separators push the teeth apart just enough for us to place an orthodontic band around your teeth.


TADs or Temporary Anchorage Devices are rarely used at Lund Orthodontics. They are essentially miniature dental implants that are placed for a period of time during which teeth can be moved toward or away from the TAD.

New clinical studies are continuously published, and the parts of braces continue to improve. Dr. Paul and his team are committed to staying atop the latest clinical breakthroughs. We will do everything we can to make sure our patients benefit from the most advanced, high-quality, safe, and time-tested orthodontic care that is available.

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Meet Dr. Paul
As a second generation orthodontist, you can say he was born with a passion for creating healthy and beautiful smiles.