See the alphabetical list of dentistry terms and each d to definition expand your knowledge and vocabulary.
Banding: The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.
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 a treatment plan.
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 biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.
Ligation: The process of attaching an arch wire to the brackets on your teeth.
Panoramic X-ray: An x-ray that rotates around your head to take a picture of your teeth, jaw and other facial areas.
Appliances Used to Move Teeth: Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth which moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.
Arch wire: 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. Bands provide a way to attach wires to your teeth.
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 arch wire in place.
Coil Spring: A spring that fits between your brackets and over your arch wire to open or maintain space between your teeth.
Elastic (Rubber Band): A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your upper or lower appliances to provide pressure to move your teeth and your jaws to their new position.
Elastic Tie: The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the arch wire in place. They come in a variety of colors.
Headgear: Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a face bow to gently guide the growth of your face and jaw by moving your teeth into proper position. The force is applied to the face bow by a spring-loaded neck strap or head strap. The straps have a safety release that disconnects if the face bow is pulled or snagged.
Headgear Tube: A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it.
Herbst: A fixed appliance that helps to encourage growth of the lower jaw.
Hook: A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.
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.
Ligature: A thin wire that holds your arch wire into your bracket.
Lip Bumper: 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.
Mouth guard: A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.
Rapid Palatal Expander/RPE: A device that makes your upper jaw wider.
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, while others are bonded to the tongue-side of several teeth.
Separator or Spacer: A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.
Tie Wire: A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the arch wire in place.
Wax: Wax is used to reduce discomfort from irritations caused by your braces to your oral tissues.