If you or your child needs orthodontic treatment, you may feel slightly overwhelmed by the details and terminology. Developing an understanding of the lingo will help you feel more comfortable with the process. After performing a thorough exam and evaluation, your orthodontist will explain treatment recommendations.
Some of the common orthodontic terms you may hear include:
Designed to provide a guide for your teeth as they move, an archwire metal wire that attaches to the brackets. Your orthodontist will change the archwire periodically during treatment.
A ceramic or metal piece cemented to the front of your teeth and used to hold the archwire in place.
Also called an under bite, a cross bite occurs when the lower teeth overlap with the upper teeth, which can cause gum recession and uneven tooth wear.
Often used before braces, an expander is an appliance used to make your jaw bigger.
The process of attaching the archwire to your brackets.
A misalignment or issue with the teeth and the way the upper and lower teeth fit together.
The dental specialty dealing with preventing and correcting irregularities with the teeth. To be accredited as an orthodontist, a dentist must complete two to three years of post-graduate training after dental school.
The small rubber device used to produce space between teeth so that the bands can be placed.
Worn after the orthodontist removes your braces, a retainer attaches to the upper and lower teeth to keep them from shifting into the incorrect position. Retainers can be removable or bonded in place.