Orthodontic Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Back to Facts About Braces

Here is a list of common orthodontic terms. Knowing them will help you understand the treatment process.

A

Archwire - the main wire that is attached to the brackets and guides tooth movement.

Auxiliaries - small pins or springs that fit into braces to help move a single tooth.

Top

B

Band - a ring of metal made to fit around an individual tooth. Usually they are only used on molars.

Bond - the seal created by orthodontic cement to a tooth.

Bonding Adhesive - a special adhesive used to affix a bracket to a tooth.

Bracket - the brace that is attached to the tooth. Holds the archwire in place and controls tooth movement during treatment.

Buccal Tube - a tube that is attached to the molar bands into which the archwire and sometimes headgear are inserted.

Top

C

Cement - a special adhesive used to hold a band onto the tooth.

Closed Bite - a condition in which the upper teeth cover the lower teeth when biting down.

Crossbite - a condition in which some of the upper teeth are inside the lower teeth when biting down.

Crowding - too many teeth in too small a place.

Top

D

Dentition - the arrangement of the teeth.

Drift - unwanted movement of teeth.

Top

E

Elastics (also called Rubber Bands) - small bands that are hooked from one tooth to another.

Elastic Thread - a small strip of rubber covered with nylon thread. Usually left in place until the next appointment.

Top

F

Face Bow - two connected, curved wires that insert into molar tubes and rest outside of the mouth.

Top

H

Headgear - a cap or strap that fits over the head and connects to teeth by inserting wires into molar tubes.

Head Plate - a large X-ray that shows teeth in relationship to the bones in the head.

Top

I

Impression - a mold that is made of the teeth when the patient bites into a modeling solution that has been placed in a special holding tray.

Impression Tray - a mouth-shaped tray that holds impression material.

Intermaxillary Hook - a small additional hook placed on the archwire. Used to hold elastics.

Top

L

Ligatures - elastic circles that hold the archwire onto individual brackets.

Lingual Button or Hook - a small projection on the tongue side of a band. Used to hold small wires or rubber bands.

Top

M

Malocclusion - poor positioning of the teeth.

Model - a plaster cast made of the patient’s teeth for treatment purposes.

Top

O

Occlusion - the alignment and spacing of upper and lower teeth when biting down.

Open Bite - a condition in which the teeth do not close together when biting down.

Overbite - a condition in which the upper teeth overlap vertically over the lower teeth.

Overjet - a condition in which the upper teeth overlap horizontally over the lower teeth.

Top

P

Palatal Expander - a device used to widen the jaw to create additional room for teeth.

Top

R

Retainer - a hard plastic appliance used to hold the teeth in place following the removal of braces.

Rotation - the action of turning a tooth along its long axis.

Top

S

Separators/Spacers - small pieces of rubber placed between teeth to create room for bands to be installed.

Top

T

Tipping - the action of moving a tooth from side to side.

Torquing - the action of moving a tooth forward and backward.

Torquing Auxiliary - a small, multi-looped wire that is usually applied to the four upper front teeth during the final stage of treatment.

Typodont - a plastic model that shows the alignment of teeth.

Top

Back to Facts About Braces

InVu lifestyle image

Watch our quick video highlighting the features of InVu Aesthetic Braces.

Video

InVu features our exlusive Personalized Color- Matching Technology™ that makes them virtually invisible.

Video

Fill out this quick form and we’ll search our data base for an InVu Orthodontist nearest you.

Video