Orthodontic Terms

Elastic Tie

Tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Loop in Archwire

Frequently used for closing space left by an extraction. Many archwires don't have a loop.

Archwire

The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It's changed periodically throughout treatment, as teeth move to their new position.

Bracket

Small attachment that holds the archwire in place. Most often, a bracket is cemented directly onto the tooth's surface, eliminating the need for a band.

Separators (or Spacers)

Separators are little rubber doughnuts or metal springs that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we attach the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks or floss.

Headgear Tube

Round, hollow attachment on the back bands. The inner bow of the headgear fits into it.

Coil Spring

Fits between brackets and over archwires to open space between teeth.

Tie Wire

Fine wire that is twisted around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Band

A thin ring of metal fitted around a tooth and cemented in place. The band provides a way to attach the brackets to the tooth.

Hook

Welded or removable arm to which elastic (rubber bands) are attached.

Elastic (Rubber Band)

Small rubber band that is hooked between different points n the appliance to provide pressure to move the teeth.