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Ortho Dictionary

Parts of Braces

Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth which moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.
The metal wire that connects all of the brackets, and is responsible for moving the teeth. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.
A metal ring that is cemented onto your tooth, usually a molar, going completely around it. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth, and allow more stability in high force biting areas.
The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.
The individual metal or ceramic attachment cemented ("bonded") to each tooth that holds your archwire in place.
A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.
A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth.
The tiny rubber band that fits around each individual bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.
Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to gently guide the growth of your face and jaw by moving your 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 with excessive force.
A round, tube attachment on your upper molar bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into these tubes.
A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.
A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket. An alternative to an alastic tie.
A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.
A device that makes your upper jaw wider.
An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, to hold the teeth in place and prevent shifting. Some retainers are removable, while others are fixed (bonded to the tongue-side of several teeth).
A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before a band can be placed.
Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips, cheeks and tongue.

Orthodontic Procedures

The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.
The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.
A profile x-ray of your head which shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.
A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.
The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.
The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.
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.
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.
Digital 3-D images of your teeth stitched together to create an accurate 3-D model of the teeth.
The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.
An x-ray that rotates around your head providing a view of all of your teeth, jaw, and other facial areas in a single view.