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Orthodontics for Children & Adults

Glossary of Orthodontic Terms

  • Adjustment

    An evaluation of your progress where your wires may be changed to keep your treatment on track and moving forward.

  • Appliance

    Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth that moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.

  • Archwire

    A metal wire which is inserted into the brackets that move the teeth into the desired position.

  • Band

    Bands are metal tooth rings that go around the back molars and serve as anchors for the braces. They have hooks on them so that elastics can be worn.

  • Banding

    The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

  • Bonding

    The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using a special safe adhesive.

  • Bracket

    Brackets are the small metal or ceramic modules that are attached to each tooth. They serve as guides to move the teeth and hold the archwire in place.

  • Cephalometric X-ray

    An x-ray of the head that shows if your teeth are aligned and growing properly within the jaws.

  • Chain/Powerchain

    A stretchable elastic chain that connects on the archwire, usually used to close spaces between the teeth.

  • Consultation

    A meeting with your orthodontist where your treatment plan is discussed.

  • Debonding

    The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

  • Elastic (Rubber Band)

    A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide gentle, continuous pressure to move your teeth and/or jaws to their new positions. We offer regular or neon colors.

  • Impressions

    The first step in making a model of your teeth. You bite into a container filled with a rubber-type material. That material hardens to produce a mold of your teeth.

  • Interceptive Treatment

    Orthodontic treatment that is usually done between the ages of 7 and 10. The objective of interceptive or early orthodontic treatment is to provide orthopedic intervention, so that later orthodontic treatment is less complex.

  • Invisalign®

    A series of clear, removable plastic trays that are custom fit to your teeth used as an alternative to braces.

  • Ligation

    The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

  • Mouthguard

    A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

  • Palatal Expander

    A palatal expander, also known as a rapid palatal expander, rapid maxillary expansion appliance, palate expander or orthodontic expander, is used to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit together better.

  • Panoramic X-ray

    An X-ray taken by a machine that rotates around your head to give your orthodontist a picture of your teeth, jaws, and other important information.

  • Orthodontic Photographs

    Pictures taken upon the completion of treatment show the amazing changes that orthodontics have achieved in both growth and development of the teeth, jaws and aesthetics of the smile. The orthodontist uses the pictures throughout treatment to monitor changes.

  • Orthodontic Records

    These records, which include cephalometric and panoramic x-rays, digital photos and study models, help your orthodontist determine what treatment needs to be done.

  • 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, and others are bonded to the teeth.

  • Separator (Spacer)

    A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.

  • Adjustment


    An evaluation of your progress where your wires may be changed to keep your treatment on track and moving forward.

    Appliance


    Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth that moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.

    Archwire


    A metal wire which is inserted into the brackets that move the teeth into the desired position.

    Band


    Bands are metal tooth rings that go around the back molars and serve as anchors for the braces. They have hooks on them so that elastics can be worn.

    Banding


    The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

    Bonding


    The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using a special safe adhesive.

    Bracket


    Brackets are the small metal or ceramic modules that are attached to each tooth. They serve as guides to move the teeth and hold the archwire in place.

    Cephalometric X-ray


    An x-ray of the head that shows if your teeth are aligned and growing properly within the jaws.

    Chain/Powerchain


    A stretchable elastic chain that connects on the archwire, usually used to close spaces between the teeth.

    Consultation


    A meeting with your orthodontist where your treatment plan is discussed.

    Debonding


    The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

    Elastic (Rubber Band)


    A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide gentle, continuous pressure to move your teeth and/or jaws to their new positions. We offer regular or neon colors.

    Impressions


    The first step in making a model of your teeth. You bite into a container filled with a rubber-type material. That material hardens to produce a mold of your teeth.

    Interceptive Treatment


    Orthodontic treatment that is usually done between the ages of 7 and 10. The objective of interceptive or early orthodontic treatment is to provide orthopedic intervention, so that later orthodontic treatment is less complex.

    Invisalign®


    A series of clear, removable plastic trays that are custom fit to your teeth used as an alternative to braces.

    Ligation


    The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

    Mouthguard


    A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

    Palatal Expander


    A palatal expander, also known as a rapid palatal expander, rapid maxillary expansion appliance, palate expander or orthodontic expander, is used to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit together better.

    Panoramic X-ray


    An X-ray taken by a machine that rotates around your head to give your orthodontist a picture of your teeth, jaws, and other important information.

    Orthodontic Photographs


    Pictures taken upon the completion of treatment show the amazing changes that orthodontics have achieved in both growth and development of the teeth, jaws and aesthetics of the smile. The orthodontist uses the pictures throughout treatment to monitor changes.

    Orthodontic Records


    These records, which include cephalometric and panoramic x-rays, digital photos and study models, help your orthodontist determine what treatment needs to be done.

    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, and others are bonded to the teeth.

    Separator (Spacer)


    A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.



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    Why We're Unique

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    Common Questions

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