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Ortho Dictionary

Choose a glossary:

 

Parts of Braces

Appliance
Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth that moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.
Archwire
The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to new positions.
Band
A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth that goes completely around it. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.
Bond
The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.
Bracket
A metal or ceramic part cemented (“bonded”) to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.
Coil Spring
A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open or maintain space between your teeth.
Elastic (Rubber Band)
A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to a new position.
Elastic Tie
The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.
Headgear Tube
A round, hollow attachment on your back bands used for different appliances.
Hook
A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.
Ligature
A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.
Mouthguard
A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.
Palatal Expander
A device that makes your upper jaw wider.
Retainer
An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable, while others are bonded to the tongue side of several teeth.
Separator or Spacer
A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.
Wax
Wax is used to stop irritations from your braces.

Orthodontic Procedures

Banding
The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.
Bonding
The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.
Cephalometric X-ray
An X-ray of your head that shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.
Consultation
A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.
Debanding/Debonding
The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands and brackets from your teeth.
Impressions
Soft material is placed into trays that fit over your teeth. These molds will be made to create a model of your mouth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.
Invisalign®
An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear, custom-molded aligners. Invisalign can correct some, but not all, orthodontic problems.
Ligation
The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.
Panoramic X-ray
An X-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw, and other facial areas.