Ortho Dictionary

Parts of Braces
Appliance
Appliance

Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth that moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.

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Archwire
Archwire

The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to new positions.

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Band
Band

A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth that goes completely around it. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.

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Bond
Bond

The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

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Bracket
Bracket

A metal or ceramic part cemented (“bonded”) to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.

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Coil Spring
Coil Spring

A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.

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Elastic (Rubber Band)
Elastic (Rubber Band)

A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to a new position.

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Elastic Tie
Elastic Tie

The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.

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Headgear
Headgear

Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to guide the growth of your face and jaw gently 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 or snagged.

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Headgear Tube
Headgear Tube

A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it.

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Hook
Hook

A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

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Ligature
Ligature

A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.

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Lip Bumper
Lip Bumper

A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth.

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Mouthguard
Mouthguard

A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

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Palatal Expander
Palatal Expander

A device that makes your upper jaw wider.

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Retainer
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, while others are bonded to the tongue side of several teeth.

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Separator/Spacer
Separator/Spacer

A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.

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Tie Wire
Tie Wire

A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

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Wax
Wax

Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.

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Orthodontic Procedures
Banding
Banding

The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

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Bonding
Bonding

The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.

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Cephalometric X-ray
Cephalometric X-ray

An X-ray of your head that shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.

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Consultation
Consultation

A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.

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Debanding
Debanding

The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

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Debonding
Debonding

The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

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Impressions
Impressions

A model of your mouth made 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.

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Invisalign®
Invisalign®

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.

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Ligation
Ligation

The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

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Panoramic X-ray
Panoramic X-ray

An X-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw, and other facial areas.

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Dr. John F. Buzzatto

Orthodontics

3942 William Flynn Highway

Allison Park, PA 15101

412-487-8560

304 Hickman Street

Bridgeville, PA 15017

412-257-0025