Speak the "Language"
Parts of Braces
Appliance: A generic term used to refer to anything your orthodontist uses to move your teeth or change the shape of your jaw.
Archwire: The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.
Band: A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth and goes completely around your tooth. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.
Bond: The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.
Bracket: A metal or ceramic part cemented (“bonded”) to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.
Coil Spring: A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.
Elastic (Rubber Band): A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.
Elastic Tie: The rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.
Headgear: (Dr. Hamersky does not use Headgears in his treatments) Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to gently guide the growth of your face and jaw 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.
Hook: A welded or removable arm or bent wire to which elastics are attached.
Ligature: A thin wire that is twisted around your bracket or brace to hold your archwire in place.
Lip Bumper: (Dr. Hamersky does not use Lip Bumpers in his treatment) A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw by pushing against your lips to provide more space for your other teeth.
Mouthguard: A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.
Expander Appliance: A device that is used to enhance the natural size of the jaws or curve of the teeth. They come in many different designs and types of expansion that is done.
Retainer: An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed to maintain the new positions of the teeth. They can be clear or made from wires as well as either removable or fixed into position all depending on your specific needs.
Separator (or Spacer): A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before a band can be properly placed.
Tie Wire: A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.
Wax Soft: sticky wax is used to temporarily cover braces if they are irritating your lips.
Banding: The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.
Bonding: The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.
Cephalometric X-ray: An x-ray of your head which shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.
Consultation: A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.
Debanding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.
Debonding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.
Impressions: The process of making mold of your teeth by biting into a soft material that retains the shapes of your teeth. This mold is then used to create plaster models of your mouth used in diagnosis and laboratory production of appliances.
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: The process of twisting or attaching a wire around or though the brackets on your teeth.
Panoramic X-ray: An x-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw and other facial areas.