A. Parts of Your Braces
B. Orthodontic Tools
C. Orthodontic Procedures
D. Other Dental and Orthodontic Gadgets and Materials
E. Other Orthodontic Terms


Parts of your Braces

Appliance: Anything the orthodontist attaches to your teeth to move your teeth or to change the shape of your jaw

Arch Wire: A metal wire which is attached to your brackets to move your teeth.

Band: a metal ring that is usually placed on you teeth to hold on parts of your braces

Bracket: A metal or ceramic part that is glued onto a tooth and serves as a means of fastening the arch wire.

Breakaway: A breakaway is a small plastic piece with an internal spring which is used to provide force on a facebow.

Buccal tube: A small metal part that is welded on the ourside of a molar bank. The buccal tube contains a slots to hold archwires, lip bumpers, facebows and other things your orthodontist uses to move your teeth.

Chain, Orthodontic Chain: A stretchable plastic chain used to hold archwires into brackets and to make teeth move.

Facebow, Headgear: Facebows are wire apparatus used to move your upper molars back in your mouth which creates room for crowded or protrusive anterior teeth. Generally, the facebow consists of two metal parts which have been attached together. The inner part is shaped like a horseshoe. This part goes in your mouth and is connected to your buccal tubes. The outer part has two curves. The curves go around your face, and connect to the breakaways or high pull headgear. To properly use the product, the inner bow needs to be inserted into your buccal tubes. An elastic neck band is placed around the back of the neck while the triangular cast offs on both sides of neck band are attached to the outer bow of the headgear. Completing the apparatus is a plastic safety strap that is placed over the neck band and onto the outer bow of the headgear.

Ligating module: A small plastic piece, shaped like a donut, which is used to hold the arch wires in the brackets on your teeth.

Lip bumper: A lip bumper is used to push the molars on your lower jaw back to create more space for other teeth. The lip bumper conists of an arch wire which is attached to a molded piece of plastic. You mount the arch wire in the buccal tubes on your lower jaw, and plastic piece rests against your lips. When you eat or talk, you push the plastic piece back which pushes on your molars. That pushes your molars back.

Mouthguard: A device that is used to protect your mouth from injury when you are participating in sports. The use of a mouthguard is especially important for orthodontic patients, to prevent injuries.

Neck pad: A neckpad is a cloth covered cushion which you wear around your neck when you put on your facebow. Generally, the breakaways are attached to the neckpad to provide force for the facebow.

Palatal Expander: A device used to make your jaw wider

Retainer: A gadget that the orthodontist gives you to wear after the orthodntist removes your braces. The retainer attaches to your upper teeth and holds them in the correct position. You wear the retainer at night to make sure that none of your teeth move while your jaw hardens and your teeth get strongly attached to your jaw.

Safety Strap: A plastic strap which prevents a facebow from coming loose and hurting you.

Seperator: A plastic or metal part which the orthodontist uses to create space between your teeth for bands.

Wax: A clear wax used to prevent your braces from irritating your lips when your braces are first put on, or at other times.

Wax bite: A procedure to measure how well your teeth come together. You bite a sheet of wax and leave bitemark in the wax. The orthodontist looks at the bitemarks to see how well your teeth are aligned.