We are going to shift gears in today’s blog! Where typically we might write about overcoming your fear of going to the orthodontist, modern alternatives to traditional braces, or what our new patients can expect from our local orthodontist office, today’s blog is a bit out of the ordinary. 

To be clear, it’s not exactly zaney; it’s probably best described as practical and educational. Yes, as the title of today’s post already revealed, we will be listing out the most common orthodontic terms. If you’ve been looking for a glossary you can count on, we’ve got you covered. 

After we successfully illuminate each and every orthodontic term for our dear readers, we’ll wrap up today’s blog by reminding about a few of the many reasons to choose Rogers & Andrews as your orthodontist of choice! Let’s dive in!

Orthodontic Definitions

  • Appliance – An appliance can be anything that is attached to your teeth that corrects your bite or will move your teeth.
  • Archwire – An archwire is characterized as an orthodontic wire engaged in attachments. That is, it’s affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth so it can guide the direction of tooth movement.
  • Orthodontic Band – A band serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The thin metal ring, usually made of stainless steel, closely fits the contours of the tooth before it is cemented into place. 
  • Bracket – This is an orthodontic attachment made of plastic, metal, or ceramic. Intended to hold the archwire against each tooth by slotting into the brackets themselves, brackets can either be attached to a band or directly to each tooth. 
  • Ceramic Brackets – A ceramic bracket is an orthodontic attachment made of alumina, crystalline, clear, or tooth-shade sapphire brackets that are more attractive than conventional metal attachments on traditional braces.
  • Chain – A chain is an elastic strip that is applied to keep the archwires fixed onto brackets.
  • Coil Spring – Coil springs fit over the archwire and between the brackets.
  • Debanding – Debanding refers to the process of removing cemented orthodontic bands. It’s a reason to celebrate!
  • Elastics (rubber bands) – Elastics, or rubber bands, are small rubber rings that tie archwires onto the bracket. They are available in a variety of colors based on patient preference. 
  • Fixed Retainer – Fixed retainers are permanent retainers which are bonded to the rear of the front teeth. In order to keep teeth from shifting away from their new position, fixed retainers are sometimes necessary after wearing braces.
  • Habit Appliance – These orthodontic appliances are used to discourage people from bad habits such as thumb or finger sucking.
  • Headgear – Also termed extraoral traction, headgear is a generic term for an appliance that is attached around the backside of the head. Its purposes include anchorage, tooth movement, and growth modification. 
  • Herbst Appliance – A Herbst appliance refers to removable or fixed gear used primarily for overbite correction.
  • Impressions – To design an orthodontic treatment plan, imprints or molds of teeth are sometimes necessary. These are called impressions. 
  • Interceptive Treatment – Also known as early treatment, is qualified as limited pediatric orthodontic treatment. Typically performed on patients between six and ten years old, this treatment phase is intended to make future orthodontic treatment less invasive and generally problematic.
  • Lingual Appliances – Lingual appliances are oral appliances fixed to the interior (tongue) side of the teeth.
  • MARA Appliance – This is a growth appliance intended to help correct overbites by repositioning the lower jaw forward. 
  • Maxillary – Used to describe orthodontic appliances, facial structures, dental restorations, or teeth themselves, maxillary is simply a term pertaining to the upper jaw in some way, shape, or form.
  • Mouthguard – This is a mouthpiece tailored to protect braces and teeth while patients are playing a sport, as many of our readers already know!
  • Palatal Expander – The palatal expander is utilized to make a wider space in the upper jaw, or maxillary region. It is attached to the upper molars by cemented bands or though bonding.
  • Radiograph – Using ionizing radiation to produce a permanent image on film, a radiograph is among the most common sources of radiation-based image production in orthodontia.
  • Retainer – As you likely know, a retainer is used to keep the position of the teeth in place after corrective treatment. Retainers can be either removable or fixed.
  • Separator (spacer) – Separators are tiny elastics that fit between certain teeth to move them slightly over time; this is done so that bands can be placed around them at a later time.
  • Wax – If a bracket or protruding wire is causing irritation to the lip or cheek, your orthodontist may recommend placing wax over the area to assuage the issue.

Why Rogers & Andrews?

While we hope you’ve enjoyed the above glossary (or perhaps can bookmark this page in case you need to quickly reference a definition in the future), there are many better reasons to consider us at your orthodontist of choice. For one, we provide treatment for all ages. For another, we offer an initial exam to you at no charge! Plus our staff is friendly, dedicated, and experienced in using our state-of-the-art equipment. 

Excellent treatment in a caring environment is our practice goal. We’ve treated over 15,000 patients and 100 dental family members in Augusta and the surrounding region. Reach out to us today to schedule your free initial exam! We’d love to hear from you and ensure all orthodontic treatment you receive is of the highest quality. Give Rogers & Andrews Orthodontics a call today!