Orthodontic glossary

Explore common terms and phrases used in orthodontic care that may be unfamiliar to you. If you have additional questions, our friendly staff is available to take your calls.

Things you might hear at your appointment

Here are some answers to commonly asked orthodontic questions. If you can’t find the information you need below, call our office and one of our skilled and friendly receptionists will be happy to assist you.

A wire designed to guide tooth movement that is placed into orthodontic attachments (such as the brackets of braces) which are fixed to the surface of two or more teeth.

A thin ring of metal (typically stainless steel) that secures orthodontic attachments to a tooth.

An attachment that is secured to a tooth for the purpose of engaging an archwire. A bracket can be made from high-grade stainless steel or a ceramic or plastic material.

Attachments made of ceramic material are secured to the teeth by bonding or banding. These brackets are tooth-shaded or clear to make them less visible than conventional metal brackets.

A condition in which there is not enough space available for the teeth.

​The procedure used to remove orthodontic bands that are cemented to the teeth.

Small rubber bands designed to help move teeth into the desired position. They come in various colors, giving patients the opportunity to personalize their braces treatment.

The tissue that surrounds the teeth.

A general term used to describe an extraoral or ‘outside the mouth’ appliance used to influence growth, move teeth, and to provide anchorage. Headgear is attached around the backside of the head.

A fixed or removable orthodontic device used to treat overbites and more.

The process of capturing representations of structures in the mouth in 2D or 3D.

A term used to describe surfaces and directions toward the tongue.

The passive treatment following the active phase of treatment in which a retainer is worn to hold the teeth in their new positions.

An appliance in which brackets are angulated to minimize the need for archwire bends. Brackets and molar tubes will have specific 3D orientation.

If you have any questions about orthodontic terms, or if there is anything we can do to help, our capable staff at Haney Orthodontics would be happy to assist you. Call us at: (415) 453-7880 or book a consultation at our clinic.

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