At Pinecrest Orthodontics, we know the terminology associated with orthodontics may seem a little intimidating. Hence below is a list of common orthodontic terms and definitions to help provide some clarity.
Appliance – Any device prescribed by your orthodontist that attaches to your teeth with the purpose of moving them or changing the shape of your jaw.
Archwire – This is the main wire in braces that allows the movement of your teeth as it is engaged into the brackets. As your treatment progresses, the archwire will be
Band – A metal ring that encircles the molars and acts as an anchor for the braces.
Bond – Orthodontic sealing agent that cements appliances in place.
Bracket – The metal (or ceramic) pieces bonded to teeth into which the archwire is placed.
Coil Spring – A spring that is placed between brackets on the archwire, to create a space between your teeth
Elastics/Rubber bands – Small rubber bands that hook between different points on your appliances to apply gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws for the purpose of bite correction.
Elastic Ties or Ligatures – The tiny, often colored, rubber bands that wrap around the brackets and hold the archwire in place.
Headgear – An orthodontic appliance formed by using an external wire device, or “facebow,” attached to a spring-loaded neck strap. It’s purpose is to orthopedically restrict the growth of the top jaw by putting pressure on the top molars.
Headgear Tube – An attachment on the top molar bands, into which the headgear’s inner bow
Hook – A small, metal arm on a bracket which holds elastics
Lip Bumper – An archwire encased with molded plastic that is meant to hold the lower jaw molars back to allow more room for other teeth.
Metal Ligature Tie – A thin wire meant to position the archwire into a bracket
Mouthguard – A rubber device worn during sports to protect teeth.
Palatal Expander – An appliance to widen the upper jaw.
Retainer – An appliance worn after braces to help teeth retain or maintain their position. Retainers may be fixed or removable.
Separators/Spacers – Small rubber rings placed between molars to create spaces before bands are placed
Wax – Used to reduce cheek and lip irritation from braces and wires
Banding – The process in which bands are placed on your teeth.
Bonding – The process in which brackets are placed on your teeth.
Consultation – An initial meeting with your orthodontic care team to discuss your orthodontic needs and treatment options
Debanding – The process in which your bands are removed.
Debonding – The process in which your brackets are removed.
Impressions – A mold taken of teeth to create a model.
Invisalign – Clear progressive aligners that fit over your teeth which may be used as an alternative to braces.
Lateral Cephalometric X-ray- An x-ray of the side of the face that demonstrates the relationship of the top and bottom jaws and allows the orthodontist to assess the patient’s bite
Ligation – The process in which the archwire is attached to your braces
Panoramic X-ray – An x-ray that demonstrates all of the teeth and upper and lower jaws
Experience the Pinecrest Orthodontics difference and contact us today! We can answer any questions you may have or schedule your complimentary consultation. We are Pinecrest’s local orthodontic team, and also proudly serve the surrounding communities of Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, South Miami, and Kendall.