Doral & Miami Centers for Orthodontics > Orthodontic Dictionary

Orthodontic Dictionary

Orthodontic treatments involve many different appliances that are unique to orthodontics. To help patients become familiar with their braces and their treatment, we encourage them to browse the following selection of orthodontic terms. The Doral & Miami Centers for Orthodontics offer exceptional orthodontic care to residents of Hialeah, Kendall, Miami  Springs, and the surrounding areas of Florida.

Orthodontic Appliances Dictionary

Appliance – An appliance is anything that is attached to the teeth in order to correct the position of your teeth or jaw.

Archwire – The archwire is the main wire used in your braces. It runs along the front of your teeth from one side of your mouth to the other.

Band – Bands are most often placed on your molars, providing an “anchor” for your braces appliance. These metal pieces are cemented to the teeth in the back of the mouth.

Bracket – The brackets are the individual metal (or ceramic) pieces that are cemented on each tooth. These hold the archwire in place.

Elastic – Also called rubber bands, these small rubber rings are connected to two different brackets to help move the teeth. These are typically removable, meaning that patients are responsible for removing and applying them between meals.

Headgear – Headgear is an appliance used to correct jaw alignment. This device applies a gentle pulling force on the teeth to even out the growth of the jaw.

Ligature – Ligatures are also called elastic ties or tie wires, and are used to fasten the archwire to the brackets. These come in a variety of colors to allow patients to customize the appearance of their braces.

Mouthguard – A mouthguard is a removable device that protects the teeth from injury during sports and other activities. These are recommended for patients who have braces and participate in sports, as a mouth injury can cause cuts and damage the braces appliance.

Retainer – Retainers are devices that are used after your braces are removed. These help ensure that your teeth remain in their corrected position. These can be cemented in or removable.

Spacer – Also called a separator, the spacer creates space between the teeth before the bands are attached. This helps prepare the teeth for braces.

Wax – Wax is provided to all braces patients. This soft material can be placed on any part of the braces that are irritating or poking the inside of the mouth.

Orthodontic Procedures Dictionary

Banding – Banding is the process of placing orthodontic bands onto the teeth.

Bonding – Bonding is the process of cementing brackets to the teeth. The bond material is a unique orthodontic cement that is durable but easily removed after your braces treatment.

Debanding – Debanding occurs when the bands on your braces are removed.

Debonding – Debonding is performed after the braces treatment is complete, removing the bond material from the teeth.

Impressions – Impressions are a method of obtaining a mold of the teeth. During this process, the patient will bite down into a soft material that quickly hardens into a mold. This allows us to get an accurate model of the teeth to plan treatments.

Ligation – Ligation is the process of attaching the archwire to the brackets on your teeth. This will be performed each time you come in to tighten your braces.

If you have any questions regarding the above terms or other orthodontic topics, please contact us today. At the Doral & Miami Centers for Orthodontics, we want every patient to be comfortable and confident during their treatment. We welcome patients from Miami Springs, Kendall, Hialeah, and the surrounding areas of Florida.