Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth that moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.

The metal wire that guides your teeth as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to new positions.

A metal ring that is cemented to your molar tooth and has molar tube attached to it.

A metal or ceramic part cemented (“bonded”) to your tooth that provides a slot for engaging an archwire.

A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.

A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide an orthodontic force to move your teeth to a new position.

The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.

Headgear is an external orthodontic apparatus used to gently guide the growth of your face and jaw by moving your teeth into proper position. The force is applied to the attached 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.

A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it.

A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.

A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth and also is used as a lip sucking habit breaking appliance.

A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

A device that is attached to your upper teeth and helps to make your upper jaw wider.

An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed. A fixed retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower front teeth to hold them in place. A removable retainer is worn on the upper arch to maintain the new position of teeth and arch shape.

A small rubber ring that creates space between your molar teeth before the bands are attached.

A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.


The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your molar teeth.

The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.

An X-ray of your head that shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.

A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.

The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

The process of making a negative replica of your teeth by using a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your study models in plaster to device your treatment plan.

The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

An X-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw, and other facial areas.