Your Dictionary to Orthodontics

Your Dictionary to Orthodontics!
Posted on 08/30/2018
Your Dictionary to Orthodontics!

“What’s that sharp, metal thing going in my mouth!?”

If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, then this blog post was made just for you. The team at Serino Orthodontics in Easton and Centreville, MD understands that there’s a lot of jargon floating around the office, and our patients might be curious to know what exactly we’re talking about. Whether your wearing damon braces, metal braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen or clear braces, there’s plenty to learn. Start here with our orthodontics dictionary!

Orthodontic Dictionary

appliance Anything that is attached to your teeth that moves your teeth or corrects your bite.

A wire engaged in orthodontic attachments, affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth and guides the direction of tooth movement.

A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and then cemented into place.

An orthodontic attachment made of metal, ceramic or plastic that holds the archwire against each tooth. The archwire fits into a slot in the bracket. Brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band.

ceramic brackets
Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.

An elastic chain that is used to hold the archwires onto the brackets.

coil spring
The coil spring fits between brackets and over the archwire.

The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.

elastics (rubber bands)
A tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket. Found in numerous colors for better appearance.

fixed retainer
A permanent retainer that is bonded to the back side of the front teeth to keep the teeth from shifting from their new position.

habit appliance
An appliance designed to deter thumb or finger sucking habits.

Generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for growth modification, tooth movement and anchorage.

Herbst appliance
Fixed or removable appliance designed commonly for overbite problems.

An imprint or mold of the teeth used to design an orthodontic treatment plan.

interceptive treatment
Interceptive treatment, also known as early treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment usually performed between the ages of 6 and 10. This phase of treatment makes future orthodontic treatment faster and less invasive.

lingual appliances
Orthodontic appliances fixed to the interior (tongue) side of teeth.

MARA appliance
A growth appliance that helps correct overbites by positioning the patient's lower jaw forward.

Of or pertaining to the upper jaw. May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances or facial structures.

A mouthpiece that is tailored to provide protection to the braces and teeth while the patient is playing a sport.

palatal expander
Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the palatal expander is used to create a wider space in the upper jaw.

A permanent image, typically on film, produced by ionizing radiation. Sometimes called an X-ray after the most common source of image-producing radiation.

Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.

separator (spacer)
Small elastics that fit snugly between certain teeth to move them slightly so bands can be placed around them later.

Patients are instructed to place wax over a bracket or poking wire that is causing irritation to the lip or cheek.

More Questions? Contact Us!

We hope these terms and definitions help clear up any confusion and defuse worries when it comes to recieving orthodontic treatment. But if you have more questions or would like to learn more, contact us today! We can’t wait to answer your questions.

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John W. Serino, D.D.S., M.S., P.A.

  • John W. Serino, D.D.S., M.S., P.A. - 538 Cynwood Dr., Suite 1, Easton, MD 21601 Phone: 410-822-9411
  • Centreville Office - 202 Coursevall Dr., Centreville, MD 21617 Phone: 410-822-9411

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