Ortho Dictionary

Choose a glossary:


Parts of Braces

Appliance: Anything your orthodontist uses to move your teeth or change the shape of your jaw.

Archwire: The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.

Band: A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth, going completely around it. It usually has an attachment that holds an archwire.

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 space between your teeth.

Elastic: A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your braces to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.

Elastic Tie: These are not necessary with self-ligating braces but are fun to wear for those patients that want to add colour to their braces.

Headgear: Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to gently guide the growth of your jaw by moving your teeth back into proper position. The force is applied to the facebow by a spring-loaded strap.

Headgear Tube: A round, hollow attachment on your molar bands. The face bow of your headgear fits into it.

Hook: A small hook to which elastics are attached.

Ligature: A thin wire that holds your archwire into certain types of braces.

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. Some retainers are removable, while others are bonded.

Separator or Spacer: A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are placed.

Wax: Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.

Orthodontic Procedures

Banding: The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands.

Bonding: The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.

Cephalometric X-ray: An x-ray of your head which shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.

Consultation: A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss orthodontic problems, treatment plans and available options.

Debanding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

Debonding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

Impressions: The process of making a model of your teeth by using a soft putty material to register an imprint of your teeth.

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.

Panoramic X-ray: An x-ray taken by a machine that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth and jaws.

MARA - Mandibular anterior repositioning appliance: Used to improve the growth pattern and position of the lower jaw.

Self Ligating Braces: braces that use an integral clip or fastener to hold the arch wire. (SPEED Braces)