Ortho Dictionary

Choose a glossary:


Parts of Braces

Anything an orthodontist attaches to your teeth to move your teeth or change the shape of your jaw
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
A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth and goes completely around it; bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth
The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.
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 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 uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to guide the growth of your face and jaw gently by moving your teeth into proper position. The force is applied to the facebow by a spring-loaded neck strap or head strap. The straps have a safety release that disconnects if the facebow is pulled or snagged.
Headgear Tube
A round, hollow attachment on your back bands; the inner bow of your headgear fits into it
A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached
A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket
Lip Bumper
An archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic; the lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth
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
An appliance worn after your braces are removed and 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
Tie Wire
A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place
Used to stop your braces from irritating your lips

Orthodontic Procedures

The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth
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
A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan
The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth
The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth
A model of your mouth made by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth; we use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan
An alternative to traditional braces which straightens your teeth with a series of clear, custom-molded aligners; Invisalign can correct some, but not all, orthodontic problems
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
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