Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A

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

Appliance:   Anything Dr. Brown designs for your teeth, either fixed to your teeth or removable, which holds your tooth positions, moves your teeth, or changes the shape of your jaw.

Archwire:  The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move.  It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.

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B

Band:  A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth, going completely around it.  Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth, and provide a greater degree of strength and stability.

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

Bicuspids:  Side teeth used for chewing.

Bond:  The seal created by composite or orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

Bracket:  A metal or ceramic attachment to the tooth that holds the archwire and allows pressure to be applied to the tooth. 

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C

Cephalometric X-ray:  An image of your head which shows the relative positions and growth of your jaws, teeth, and cranial features.

Coil Spring:  A spring attaching to the brackets or hooks, usually over the archwire, to open, close, or maintain spaces between the teeth.

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D

Debonding:  The process of removing the orthodontic brackets and bands from your teeth.

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E

Elastic:  A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on our appliances to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new positions.

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

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F

Fluoride - A naturally occurring substance added to water, toothpastes and some rinses and used for strengthening the tooth's enamel.

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G

Gingiva - Another word for gum tissue.

Gingivitis - A minor disease of the gums caused by plaque, usually from a lack of tooth brushing
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H

Headgear:  An appliance that attaches an external wire (facebow) to the teeth, that in concert with an external spring force delivered by a neck strap or head strap will gently guide the growth of your face and jaw by moving your teeth and jaws in the proper direction and position. 
 

Headgear Tube:  An attacment on the molar brackets that the facebow inner bow fits into.

Hook:  A welded or removable arm to which elastics or springs are attached.

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I

Impacted tooth:  A condition in which a tooth fails to erupt or only partially erupts.

Implant:  A permanent appliance used to replace a missing tooth.

Impression:  The process of making a mold of your teeth by using soft material that stiffens quickly into that mold. 

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L

Ligation:  The process of attaching an archwire to the bracket via a small wire.

Ligature:  The thin wire that holds the archwire to the bracket.

Lingual:  Meaning the "tongue side" when referring to the teeth.

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M

Malocclusion:  Bad bite relationship.

Mandible:  The lower jaw.

Maxilla:  The upper jaw.

Molar:  Usually the largest teeth, near the rear of the mouth.  Molars have large chewing surfaces.

Mouthguard:  A device that protects your teeth and lips when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

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N

Neuromuscular Dentistry:  Are more than the aches and pains felt in and around the neck and head that are associated with your teeth and jaw.

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O

Orthodontics:  A field of dentistry that deals with tooth and jaw alignment.

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P

Palate:   Roof of the mouth.

Palatal Expander:  An appliance that is activated to make your upper jaw wider.

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

Primary teeth:   A person's first set of teeth. Also called baby teeth or temporary teeth.

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R

Retainer:  An appliance worn to retain the results of your orthodontic treatment most frequently, attaching to both the upper and/or lower teeth to maintian their positions.  Some are removable, others fixed to several teeth.

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S

Separator or Spacer:  A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached. 

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T

Tie Wire:  A fine wire (ligature) that is twisted around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

TMJ:   Temporomandibular joint disorder. Health problems related to the jaw joint just in front of the ear.

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V

Veneer:  A laminate applied or bonded to the tooth.

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W

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

Whitening:  A process that employs special bleaching agents for changing or restoring the color of teeth.

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