Appliance: Anything your orthodontist, Dr. Oakes, attaches to your teeth to move your teeth or change the shape of your jaw.
Archwire: The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth as they move to their proper positions. The archwire is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.
Band: A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth and completely encircles it. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.
Bond: The seal created by orthodontic cement to hold your appliances in place.
Bracket: A metal or ceramic piece bonded (cemented) to your tooth to hold 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 appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.
Elastic Tie: The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. These come in a variety of colors.
Headgear: Headgear uses an external wire apparatus, called a facebow, to gently guide the growth of your face and jaw by moving your teeth into proper position. The force is applied to the facebow by a spring-loaded neck strap 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.
Hook: A welded or removable arm to which the elastics are attached.
Ligature: A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.
Lip Bumper: An archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic to hold back the molars on your lower jaw, providing more space for your other teeth.
Mouthguard: A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or recreational 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 Wire: A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.
Wax: Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips or cheeks.