Anything an orthodontist attaches to teeth which move teeth or change the shape of the jaw.
Arch Wire [ahrch-wahyuhr]
The metal wire that acts as a track to guide teeth along as they move. The arch wire is changed periodically throughout treatment as teeth move to their new positions.
A metal ring that is cemented to the tooth, completely encircling it. Bands can provide a way to firmly attach brackets or appliances to the teeth.
The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to the teeth.
The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds appliances in place.
The process of attaching brackets to the teeth using special orthodontic cement.
A metal or ceramic part cemented (“bonded”) to a tooth that holds the arch wire in place.
Cephalometic X-ray [sef-uh-lom-e-tik eks-rey]
An x-ray of the head which shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.
Coil Spring [koil spring]
A spring that fits between brackets and around the arch wire to open space between teeth.
A meeting with an orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.
Elastic (Rubber Band) [ih-las-tik]
A small rubber band that is hooked between different points of appliances to provide pressure that assists moving teeth to their desired position.
Elastic Tie [ih-las-tik tahy]
The tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket and holds the arch wire in place. They come in a variety of colors to accommodate a patient’s aesthetic desires.
The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from the teeth.
The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from the teeth.
Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a “facebow” to gently guide the growth of the face and jaw by moving the 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 [hed-geer tyoob]
A round, hollow attachment on the bands located towards the back (molar region) of the mouth. The inner bow of the headgear facebow slides into the headgear tube.
A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.
The process of making a model of the teeth by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold. The orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare a treatment plan.
A thin wire that holds the arch wire into the bracket.
The process of attaching an arch wire to the brackets that are bonded on teeth.
Lip Bumper [lip buhm-per]
A lip bumper is an arch wire 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 the mouth from injury when participating in sports or rigorous activities.
Palatal Expander [pal-uh-tl ik-span-der]
A device that widens the upper jaw.
Panoramic X-ray [pan-uh-ram-uh eks-rey]
An x-ray that rotates around the head and shows positioning of the teeth, jaw, and other
An appliance that is worn after braces are removed. Retainers attach to the 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 [sep-uh-rey-ter]
A small rubber ring that creates space between teeth before the bands are attached.
Tie Wire [tahy wahyuhr]
A fine wire that is twisted around bracket to hold the arch wire in place.
Wax is used to reduce irritations from braces rubbing against the lips.