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Conventional Braces

Conventional braces are generally thought of as the metal braces that everyone recognizes and, as such, are probably the least desired, but they can be made of metal or a ceramic material.

Their purpose is to align the teeth to correct a malocclusion. Dr. Hillock provides conventional braces in Modesto for patients needing this type of alignment.

Braces Modesto

What is a malocclusion and what types are there?

A malocclusion is a condition in which the upper and lower jaws do not meet correctly, because the teeth are irregular or misaligned.

There are three types of malocclusions that can be corrected by braces in Modesto, CA:

Crowded teeth

This is a condition in which the teeth get shifted so that they are crooked or overlap each other. It occurs when the mouth is not large enough to accommodate the teeth.


This is a condition in which any of the four front, middle teeth in the upper jaw—called the upper incisors—extend out, over the lower lip and teeth.


This is a condition in which any of the four front, middle teeth in the lower jaw—called the lower incisors—extend out, over the upper lip and teeth. Both an overbite and an underbite may extend past the incisors to the teeth next to them, but this is not typical.


What are the parts of conventional braces?

The parts of conventional braces are as follows:


The brackets are the most visible part of conventional braces. They are rectangular in shape and protrude from the teeth they are adhered to. They have a slot in the middle, and this is where the arch wire fits.

Arch wire

The arch wire is the main wire that goes through the slot in brackets. Arch wires are shaped specifically to fit around the arch of the teeth. It is the arch wire that applies the pressure on the teeth to change their position.


Hooks are small attachments on brackets that are used to attach rubber bands for added pressure.

Elastic ties

An elastic tie is the tiny rubber ring that ties the arch wire into the bracket.

Coil spring

A coil spring is, literally, a small, coiled spring that wraps around the arch wire, between brackets. There are both open and closed coil springs. An open coil spring is used to create spaces between brackets to accommodate crowded teeth. A closed coil spring is used to reduce the space between brackets.


Bands are a ring of metal that fit tightly around the molars and sometimes premolars. They come in different sizes and are cemented into position.

Metal vs. Ceramic Braces

Both metal and ceramic braces have virtually the same parts and work in the same way. They are custom-made to fit your teeth and the arch of your teeth, then gradually adjusted to move the teeth into their proper position.

The biggest difference between the two—apart from the actual material they are made of—is how they look. Metal braces are, of course, bright and shiny and highly visible. Ceramic braces can be matched to the color of the teeth they will be adhered to and are typically less visible because of that.

Other differences are:

  • Cost – Ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces.
  • Durability – Ceramic braces can be chipped or cracked; metal braces cannot.

Both must be worn for a period of approximately 12 to 18 months. To create the optimal treatment plan, during the initial consultation with your orthodontist for your braces in Modesto, he or she will evaluate the severity of your case, discuss any budget constraints you might have, and consider your preferences and lifestyle.

Braces Modesto


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Hillock Family Dental


1908 Coffee Rd. Modesto, CA 95355


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