1028 Centre Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Phone: (970) 490-6065
Fax: (970) 490-6067
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Choose a glossary:
Parts of braces
Appliance: Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth that moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.
Archwire: The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.
Archwire Stop: A small piece of metal that is crimped onto the archwire to keep the archwire from shifting.
Band: A metal ring that goes completely around your tooth. Bands are cemented to your teeth and provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.
Bitejumper (Herbst appliance, CBJ, M2M): An appliance that is used to control the growth of the upper and lower jaw bones during orthodontic treatment. The appliance is used to correct "overbites" and small lower jaws (known as a Class II orthodontic problem) by pulling forward and assisting the growth of the lower jaw.
Bond: The seal created by orthodontic glue that holds your appliances in place.
Bracket: A metal or ceramic part glued ("bonded") to your tooth that allows us to provide a force to your teeth. The archwire is attached to the brackets to make the teeth align.
Closing Spring: A spring that is placed between an archwire hook and end of the archwire to close spaces.
Coil Spring: A spring that fits over your archwire and between your brackets to open space between your teeth or hold space between your teeth.
Elastic (Rubber Band): A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide a force to move your teeth to their new positions.
Facemask: An appliance used to move the upper jaw forward to reduce an underbite.
Hook: A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.
Ligature: A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket or ties groups of teeth together.
Mouthguard: A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.
Palatal Expander: A device that makes your upper jaw wider.
Retainer: An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed. The retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable while others are bonded to the tongue-side of several teeth.
Separator or Spacer: A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.
Tie Back Elastic: A small elastic that is placed between a hook on the archwire and a molar hook to keep spaces closed.
Tie Wire: A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.
Wax: Wax is used if needed as a cushion or mouth Band-Aid if a part of your braces is irritating your lips or cheeks.
Banding: The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands (silver rings with brackets) to your teeth.
Bonding: The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic glue.
Cephalometric X-ray: An x-ray of your head that shows the relative positions of the jaws, facial bones and teeth.
Consultation: A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.
Debanding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.
Debonding: The process of removing orthodontic brackets from your teeth.
Impressions: The process of making a model of your teeth by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to make appliances and study the relationship of your teeth.
Invisalign®: An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear custom-molded aligners. Invisalign can correct some, but not all, orthodontic problems.
Panoramic X-ray: An x-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw, and other facial areas.