We have provided an orthodontic dictionary to help you learn more about your treatment options. If you have any questions, or to make an appointment with Dr. Leon Siomka, our experienced orthodontist in Brighton, Michigan, call Siomka Orthodontics today at 810-227-6995.

Choose a glossary:

Parts of Braces

An orthodontic appliance is any type of oral device your orthodontist uses in addition to your regular treatment to move your teeth and change the shape of your jaw.

The metal wire that is attached to your braces and acts as a track to guide your teeth as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to new positions.

A band is a metal ring that is cemented to your tooth and goes completely around it. Bands work to attach brackets to your teeth.

The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

A metal or ceramic part cemented, or bonded, to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.

Coil Spring
A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.

Elastic (Rubber Band)
A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your braces or appliance to provide pressure and move your teeth to a new position.

Elastic Tie
The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. Elastic ties are available in a variety of colors.

Headgear is an orthodontic appliance which works by using an external wire to guide the growth of the face and jaw, gradually moving your teeth into proper positions. The force of the appliance is typically provided by a spring-loaded neck or head strap. The straps have a safety release that disconnects if the facebow is pulled or snagged.

Headgear Tube
A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it.

A small arm attached to your braces. Elastics are attached to the hooks as part of your treatment.

A thin wire that holds your archwire in your bracket.

Lip Bumper
A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth.

Mouth Guard
A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

Palatal Expander
An oral appliance provided for children to widen their upper jaw and help ensure that it can accommodate all their teeth.

An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed. Retainers work to hold your teeth in their proper positions and prevent them from shifting out of 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 Wire
A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.

Orthodontic Procedures

The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.

Clear Aligners
An alternative to traditional braces, clear aligners work to straighten your teeth using a series of clear, custom-made plastic aligners rather than brackets and wires. Clear aligners can correct many of the same issues as traditional braces.

A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.

The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

A model of your mouth made by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.

The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

Panoramic X-Ray
An X-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw and other facial areas.