Glossary

Appliance
A device that is connected to your teeth or braces which can assist your braces to move your teeth or adjust your jaw shape. Appliances can be either fixed or removable.

Archwire
The metal wire that fits into your bands and brackets and guides your teeth to their new positions.

Articulator
A mechanical device in which casts of the upper and lower teeth are fixed, reproducing recorded positions of the mandible in relation to the maxilla.

Band
A metal ring to which brackets or other orthodontic attachments can be connected to.

Bracket
A metal, ceramic, or plastic piece that is bonded to a tooth. The bracket contains a slot which the archwire fits to.

Cepholometric X-Ray (Ceph)
An x-ray which shows the teeth and bones of the face, jaws and head.

Deband
To remove orthodontic bands from the teeth.

Debond
To remove brackets or tubes from the teeth.

Dental Impression
A mold of your teeth made by placing gel-like material on your teeth which hardens in a couple of minutes.

Elastic
Small “rubber bands” that hook onto different parts of the braces. They come in different sizes depending on what they are designed to do. The purpose of the elastics is to help move the teeth into the proper places and correct bites in ways that braces alone cannot do.

Extraoral X-Ray
An X-ray taken by placing the radiographic film or sensor outside the mouth on the opposite side of the head from the X-ray source.

Facebow
A component of headgear. A facebow consists of an inner bow and an outer bow. An inner bow fits into the headgear tubes inside the mouth. The outer bow lies outside the cheecks and connects to the headstrap or neckstrap.

Forsus Springs
A forsus spring appliance is used to help move teeth into the proper places. They are used to correct short lower jaws or sometimes as an alternative to elastics.

Head Gear
A removable appliance worn to restrict growth of the upper jaw and improve overjet problems. It normally consists of a facebow that attaches to the teeth and a strap that fits around the neck or the head.

Hook
An attachment for elastics. Hooks can be found connected to brackets and bands or attached to archwires.

Intraoral X-Ray
An X-ray taken by placing the radiographic film or sensor inside the mouth.

Lingual Arch
The Lingual Arch is a fixed appliance used in the lower arch that is composed of a sturdy wire that runs along the inside of the teeth and attaches to the bands on the six year molars. The Lower Lingual Arch is used to keep the lower molars from moving forward.

Malocclusion
bad bite

Mandible
Lower jaw.

Maxilla
Upper jaw.

Orthodontist
A dentist who has completed at least two years of additional orthodontic training after dental school.

Orthognathic surgery
Orthognathic surgery is a surgery to correct irregular skeletal conditions of
the jaw and face.

Palatal Bar
The Palatal Bar is a fixed appliance used in the upper arch that is composed of a sturdy wire that runs along the inside of the teeth and attaches to the bands on the six year molars.

Panoramix C-ray (Pano)
A single x-ray that shows the teeth and portions of the jaws. It is taken by a machine that rotates around the head.

Occlusion
Bite

Overbite
Vertical overlap of the front teeth.

Overjet
Horizontal overlap of the front teeth, often incorrectly called “overbite”.

Radiograph
An image of teeth and/or bone created by ionizing radiation.

Rapid Palatal Expander –Also known as a “Hyrax” appliance, the Rapid Palatal Expander is placed on the teeth by means of bands that go around on the teeth.  The function of the rapid palatal expander is to widen the upper jaw in younger patients for whom the jaw is not rigidly attached to the rest of the skull. The expander is “activated” by turning the screw with a “key”.

Relapse
Teeth or jaws moving back to their original position.

Retainer
Retainers are custom-made devices, made usually of wires or clear plastic, that hold teeth in position after surgery or any method of realigning teeth. 

Separator
Separators are small modules of elastics shaped like donuts or metallic springs that are located between the molars. The purpose of separators is to create space for bands.

Tongue Thrust
A habit of positioning the tongue forward against an in between the upper and lower front teeth. This habit can happen at rest or during swallowing and can caust open bites.

Tongue Thrust Appliance
A Tongue Thrust Appliance is attached to the molars and rests in front of the tongue and is used to prevent the tongue from thrusting forward.

Wax
If a part of the braces starts to irritate the check or lip, the patient can put wax over the irritated part to stop the irritation.

X-Ray - An image of teeth and/or bone created by ionizing radiation.