Parts of Braces
Appliance: Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth which moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.
Archwire: 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 and goes completely around your tooth. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth, and are sometimes placed on back teeth that are sometimes difficult to bond brackets predictably.
Bond: The procedure by which brackets are glued to the teeth
Bracket: A metal or ceramic part cemented (“bonded”) to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.
Coil Spring: 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.
Elastic Tie: The rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.
Headgear: Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to gently modify the growth of your face and jaws. 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: A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it. Other auxillaries, such as Forsus springs, fit into the headgear tube.
Hook: A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.
Ligature: A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.
Lip Bumper: A lip bumper is a larger diameter wire that attaches to lower molar bands, and rests in front of the lower front teeth. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw and holds the pressure of the lip away from lower front teeth to provide more space for your other teeth.
Microscrew Implant: A miniature titanium screw placed in the upper or lower jaw, used as a TAD (temporary anchorage device), which gives the orthodontist much more control of tooth movement as compared to conventional mechanics.
Mouthguard: A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.
Palatal Expander: 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 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.
Temporary Anchorage Device (TAD): A miniature screw or plate attached or inserted into the upper or lower jaw used as an anchor to aid in orthodontic tooth movement.
Tie Wire: A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.
Wax: Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.
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.
Invisalign®: An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear custom-molded aligners. Invisalign can correct some minor, but not all, orthodontic problems.
Ligation: The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.
Panoramic X-ray: An x-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw and other facial areas.