Partick Orthodontics
Orthodontic Dictionary

Orthodontic Dictionary

Parts of braces

  • Archwire – the wire that attaches to all of your teeth
  • Band – metal “rings” that sometimes are glued to back teeth
  • Bond – “glue” that attaches the brackets or “braces” to your teeth
  • Bracket – the small metal piece that is “glued” to each of your teeth
  • Elastic (rubber band) – a very small rubber band that helps pull teeth in a certain direction
  • Hook – allows elastics to attach to teeth
  • Mouth guard – aka “mouth piece” - plastic that fits around your braces and protects your teeth, cheeks and tongue from injury
  • Retainer – There are different types of retainers: (1) metal with plastic, (2) clear plastic “trays” or (3) metal permanently “glued” to the tongue side of the teeth
  • Separator – aka spacer – elastic circle that is placed between teeth to create space
  • Wax – put on braces to protect the cheek or tongue

Orthodontic procedures

  • Bonding – “gluing” braces to your teeth
  • Cephalometric X-ray – large X-ray that is taken of your face and skull.  We can see your lower jaw better in this photo.
  • Consultation – meeting to talk about your options and to help you understand what type of orthodontics you might need
  • Debanding – taking the bands, or “rings” off your back teeth
  • Debonding – taking the brackets off your teeth
  • Impressions – “molds” of your teeth.  The impression material is like jello when it’s wrapped around your teeth, then gets more solid.  This allows us to see what your teeth look like when you’re not here!
  • Invisalign – clear plastic “trays” that fit around all of your teeth.  It’s a different type of braces than the metal kind.  The metal braces usually fit just on the “face” or front side of your teeth.  Invisalign braces wrap around to the tongue sides of your teeth.
  • Panoramic X-ray – large rectangular  X-ray that is taken of your face and skull.  It wraps around your head.