Choose a glossary:
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 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.
A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth and goes completely around your tooth. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.
The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.
A metal or ceramic part cemented (bonded) to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.
A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.
Elastic (Rubber Band)
A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.
The rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.
A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.
A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.
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, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable and 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.
A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.
Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.
The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.
The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.
An 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.
An x-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw and other facial areas.
Orthodontic cement placed on the top of the molars (occlusal surface) in order to open the bite to allow room to place lower braces.
Upper or lower plastic orthodontic device used to stabilize the jaw joints.