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  • Anything that is attached to your teeth that moves your teeth or corrects your bite.


  • A wire engaged in orthodontic attachments, affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth and guides the direction of tooth movement.


Band (orthodontic)

  • A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and then cemented into place.



  • An orthodontic attachment made of metal, ceramic or plastic that holds the archwire against each tooth. The archwire fits into a slot in the bracket. Brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band.


Ceramic brackets

  • Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.



  • An elastic chain that is used to hold the archwires onto the brackets.


Coil spring

  • The coil spring fits between brackets and over the archwire.



  • The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.


Elastics (rubber bands)

  • A tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket. Found in numerous colors for better appearance.

Fixed retainer

  • A permanent retainer that is bonded to the back side of the front teeth to keep the teeth from shifting from their new position.

Habit appliance

  • An appliance designed to deter thumb or finger sucking habits.


  • Generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for growth modification, tooth movement and anchorage.

Herbst appliance

  • Fixed or removable appliance designed commonly for overbite problems.


  • An imprint or mold of the teeth used to design an orthodontic treatment plan.

Interceptive treatment

  • Interceptive treatment, also known as early treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment usually performed between the ages of 6 and 10. This phase of treatment makes future orthodontic treatment faster and less invasive.

lingual appliances

  • Orthodontic appliances fixed to the interior (tongue) side of teeth.

MARA appliance

  • A growth appliance that helps correct overbites by positioning the patient's lower jaw forward.


  • Of or pertaining to the upper jaw. May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances or facial structures.


  • A mouthpiece that is tailored to provide protection to the braces and teeth while the patient is playing a sport.

Palatal expander

  • Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the palatal expander is used to create a wider space in the upper jaw.


  • A permanent image, typically on film, produced by ionizing radiation. Sometimes called an X-ray after the most common source of image-producing radiation.


  • Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.

Separator (spacer)

  • Small elastics that fit snugly between certain teeth to move them slightly so bands can be placed around them later.


  • Patients are instructed to place wax over a bracket or poking wire that is causing irritation to the lip or cheek.

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