Glossary of Terms




An evaluation of your progress, where your wires may be changed to keep your treatment on track and moving forward.



The process of cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.



The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using a special and safe adhesive.


Cephalometric Radiographs:

A lateral radiograph of the head that shows if your jaws are aligned and growing properly. 


Cone-Beam Computed Tomography Scan or CBCT:

A three-dimensional radiograph that allows us to accurately visualize both erupted and non-erupted teeth, tooth root orientation and anomalous structures that conventional 2D radiography cannot.



A meeting with your treatment coordinator and your orthodontist where they discuss your treatment plan.



The removal of cemented orthodontic brackets.



The first step in making a model of your teeth. You bite into a tray filled with putty-like material,which hardens to produce a mold of your teeth.


Phase 1 or Interceptive Treatment:

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 as to minimize the need for future orthodontics.


Panoramic Radiographs:

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



Facial and intraoral photos will be taken throughout treatment.



These records include cephalometric and panoramic x-rays or a cone-beam scan, digital photos and study models, determine what treatment need to be done.



Parts of Braces


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



Bands are the larger metal rings that are sometimes placed on back teeth instead of the individual brackets.  They are usually harder to break off than brackets.



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.


Buccal Tubes:

A small metal part that is welded on the outside of a molar band. The molar band contains slots to hold archwires, lip bumpers, facebows and other things your orthodontist uses to move your teeth.


Power Chain:

An elastic chain that goes around the brackets and is usually used to close spaces.


Headgear facebow:

A facebow is a wire apparatus used to move your upper molars back into your mouth, which creates room for crowded or protrusive teeth. Generally, the facebow consists of two metal parts that have been attached together. The inner part is shaped like a horseshoe. This part goes in your mouth and is connected to your buccal tubes. The outer part has two curves. The curves go around your face and connect to the product, the inner bow needs to be inserted into your buccal tubes. Completing the apparatus is a plastic safety strap that is placed over the neckpad and onto the outer bow of the headgear.



Retainers are the most important part of keeping your teeth straight.  You will receive a set of retainers once your braces are removed.  The retainers will most likely be a set of clear trays that prevent your teeth from relapsing or moving back to their original positions.  You will be instructed to wear your retainers full time for 3 days and then for nighttimes only after that. 


Retainers are for life! You should wear your retainers every night as long as you want to keep your teeth where they are.


Rubber Bands or Elastics:

During various phases of treatment small elastics or rubber bands are used as a gentle but continuous force to help individual tooth movement or the aligning of jaws. These are an important part of your treatment and require your cooperation!



A plastic or metal ring that the orthodontist uses to create space between your back teeth for bands.