Glossary

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appliance

v-braces5.jpgAnything that is attached to your teeth that moves your teeth or corrects your bite.

archwire

A wire engaged in orthodontic brackets affixed to the teeth and guides the direction of tooth movement.

band (orthodontic)

A thin metal ring which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and then cemented into place.

bracket

An orthodontic attachment made of metal or ceramic that engages the archwire. The archwire fits into a slot in the bracket. The brackets are bonded directly to the teeth

ceramic brackets

Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.

chain

An elastic chain that is used to hold the archwires onto the brackets and close space.

coil spring

The coil spring fits between brackets and over the archwire and is used to create space.

debanding

The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.

digital scan

Instead of taking impressions (molds of the teeth) as most orthodontic offices do, we utilize the latest technology to take a 3D intraoral scan which produces a precise digital model of the upper and lower teeth and jaws.

elastics (rubber bands)

A tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket. Found in numerous colors for better appearance.

fixed retainer

A permanent retainer that is bonded to the back side of the front teeth to keep the teeth from shifting from their new position.

habit appliance

An appliance designed to deter thumb or finger sucking habits.

impressions

An imprint or mold of the teeth used to construct retainers.

interceptive treatment

Interceptive treatment, also known as early treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment usually performed between the ages of 6 and 10. This phase of treatment makes future orthodontic treatment shorter and less invasive.

mouthguard

A mouthpiece that is tailored to provide protection to the braces and teeth while the patient is playing a sport.

palatal expander

Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the palatal expander is used under upper jaw.

retainer

Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.

separator (spacer)

Small elastics that fit snugly between certain teeth to move them slightly so bands can be placed around them later.

wax

Patients are instructed to place wax over a bracket or poking wire that is causing irritation to the lip or cheek.