Ligature Tie (colour & steel)
The archwire is held to the brace by means of a ligature tie. This tie fits under the corners of the brace, but over the archwire. This is needed to tighten the archwire into the brace. Ligature ties are usually little rubber rings, but narrow steel wires can also be used. The rubber ligature ties are simply stretched around the corners of the brace, whereas the steel ones are twisted into place. This twisting action is responsible for the term “tightening”. The brace is not actually tightened, it is the steel ligature tie that is tightened. The rubber ties are usually gray in colour, but they also come in a variety of bright colours. So if you see someone with colours on their teeth, it’s the ties that are coloured, not the braces.