Glossary

Appliance

Anything your orthodontist places on your teeth, either permanent or removable, to move your teeth or affect jaw growth or position.

Archwire

The metal wire that connects all of your braces. This is the thing that actually moves your teeth to their new positions.

Bracket

The metal or ceramic piece that is glued to your tooth. It holds the archwire, and acts as a handle on the tooth.

C Chain

A continuous strand of elastic loops used to close space between your teeth.

Elastic

A small rubber band that you place on your braces to assist in the movement of your teeth and correction of your bite.

Headgear

Don’t worry, you won’t need one (I promise!)

Hook

A small metal piece for attaching elastics.

Impression

That goop we put in your mouth to make a plaster model of your teeth.

Palatal Expander

Don’t worry, you won’t need one of these either.

Records

A set of radiographs (see below), a set of tooth models and a set of photographs which are necessary to develop a personalized orthodontic treatment plan for you.

Retainer

An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, to maintain your teeth in their corrected positions.

Toothbrush

Hopefully I don’t need to explain a lot, but I will if required.

X-rays

A form of electromagnetic radiation, discovered by J.J. Thompson, not Rontgen, like everyone thinks.

Radiograph

That funny looking piece of film that looks like a huge negative from an old fashioned camera (not to be confused with X-ray, like everyone does).