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Glossary Of Orthodontic Terms

Archwire

Archwire

A metal wire which is attached to your brackets to move your teeth.

Bands

Bands

A metal ring that is usually placed on your teeth to hold on parts of your braces.

Bracket

Bracket

A metal or ceramic part that is glued onto a tooth and serves as a means of fastening/anchoring the archwire.

Chain

Chain

A stretchable plastic chain used to hold archwires into brackets and to move teeth.

Consultation

Consultation

A meeting with your orthodontist where he/she discusses your treatment plan.

Debonding

Debonding

The removal of cemented orthodontic brackets.

Elastics

Elastics

Elastics or rubber bands for braces help move the upper and lower teeth relative to each other, ultimately achieving a better bite. The orthodontic rubber bands are typically effective for correcting overbites, underbites, or other types of alignments of the jaw. They are also useful for moving a tooth out of alignment or to close a space in the mouth.

Fixed Retainer

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers consist of a metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth. Fixed retainers can stay in place indefinitely.

Interceptive Treatment

Interceptive

Orthodontic treatment that is usually done between the ages of 6 and 10. The objective of interceptive orthodontic treatment is to provide orthopedic intervention, so that later orthodontic treatment goes quicker and is less painful.

Orthodontic Records

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.

Palatal Expander

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.

Retainer

Retainer

A gadget that the orthodontist gives you to wear after your braces are removed. The retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth and holds them in the correct position while your jaw hardens and your teeth get strongly attached to your jaw. At first, you wear the retainer 24 hours a day, and then only at night.

Separators

Separator/Spacer

Separators/spacers are tiny rubber bands or springs that your orthodontist places between your back teeth. These separators prepare your mouth for braces by creating a small gap between these teeth. This space allows for the placement of a metal band around your molar, which anchors your braces in your mouth.

Two-Phase Treatment

Two-phase Treatment

Two phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, and esthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.