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.

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.

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.

Bond
Bond

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

Bracket
Bracket

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

Coil Spring
Coil Spring

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

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.

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.

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.

Headgear Tube
Headgear Tube

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

Hook
Hook

A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

Ligature
Ligature

A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.

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.

Mouthguard
Mouthguard

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

Palatal Expander
Palatal Expander

A device that makes your upper jaw wider.

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.

Separator/Spacer
Separator/Spacer

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

Tie Wire
Tie Wire

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

Wax
Wax

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

Orthodontic Procedures
Banding
Banding

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

Bonding
Bonding

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

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.

Consultation
Consultation

A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.

Debanding
Debanding

The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

Debonding
Debonding

The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

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.

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.

Ligation
Ligation

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

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