Ortho Glossary

Glossary of Orthodontic Terms Randolph NJAPPLIANCE

Anything the orthodontist attaches to your teeth or places in your mouth to move your teeth or change the shape of your jaw.



A metal wire that is attached to your brackets (braces) to move your teeth.



Bands are metal bands that are sometimes placed on the molars, and they can be used to anchor other orthodontic appliances onto the teeth.



The process of cementing (gluing) orthodontic bands to your teeth.



The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using a special safe adhesive (glue).



Brackets are the small metal or ceramic braces attached to each tooth. They serve as guides to move the teeth and hold the archwire in place. The brackets used in orthodontics today bond directly to the teeth with a tooth-colored bonding adhesive. They are much smaller and more comfortable than ever.


An x-ray of the head that shows how your teeth relate to the jaws, and how each jaw relates to each other.



A stretchable linked elastic strand used to close spaces between the teeth.



A meeting with your orthodontist and treatment coordinator, where your treatment plan and financial options are discussed.



The removal of cemented orthodontic brackets. My braces come off!!!!



During various phases of treatment, these small rubber bands are used as a gentle but continuous force to help individual tooth movement and correct the bite.



A small wire that is bonded or glued on the back side of front teeth to keep them from moving.  It is also called a bonded retainer or a permanent retainer.



This appliance is used to deter habits associated with thumb or finger sucking. The appliance is glued in place and will usually stop the habit in the first couple of months.



Orthodontic treatment that is usually done between the ages of 6 and 10. The objective of interceptive orthodontic treatment is to provide orthopedic intervention, so that later orthodontic treatment is more efficient and predictable.



A process where an arch wire is attached to the brackets on your teeth.



A device that is used to protect your mouth from injury when you are participating in sports. The use of a mouthguard is especially important for orthodontic patients, to prevent injuries to the teeth and lips.


An appliance used to help widen your upper jaw or palate.  It is typically cemented (glued) into place, and remains in the mouth for several months.



An x-ray taken by a machine that rotates around your head to give your orthodontist a picture of your teeth, jaws and other related structures.



Facial and intraoral digital images taken before, during and after treatment.



These include cephalometric and panoramic x-rays, digital photos and a digital scan of the teeth, and they help your orthodontist determine what treatment needs to be done.



An appliance that the orthodontist gives you to wear after your braces are removed. The retainer is removable, and it fits over your upper and/or lower teeth and holds them in the correct position while the bone and gums around your teeth adjust to the new positions of your teeth.



A small elastic ring or metal spring that the orthodontist uses to create space between your teeth for bands or banded appliances.