Appliance [uh-plahy-uhns]
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.

Band [band]
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.

Banding [brand-eeng]
The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to the teeth.

Bond [bond]
The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds appliances in place.

Bonding [bond-eeng]
The process of attaching brackets to the teeth using special orthodontic cement.

Bracket [brak-it]
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.

Consultation [kon-suhl-tey-shuhn]
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.

Debanding [dee-bahn-ding]
The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from the teeth.

Debonding [dee-bohn-ding]
The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from the teeth.

Headgear [hed-geer]
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.

Hook [hook]
A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

Impressions [im-presh-uhn]
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.

Ligature [lig-uh-cher]
A thin wire that holds the arch wire into the bracket.

Ligation [lahy-gey-shuhn]
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.

Mouthguard [mouth-gahrd]
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

Retainer [ri-tey-ner]
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 [waks]
Wax is used to reduce irritations from braces rubbing against the lips.

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