Ortho Dictionary

Better Communicate with Your South Florida Orthodontist

During the course of your orthodontics treatment, our south Florida orthodontists will probably use terms you’re not used to hearing. We’ve provided a list of common orthodontic terms so you can better communicate with Dr. Peter Wohlgemuth and Dr. Ira Rothstein.

Better communication is just one part of our caring and personalized treatment at Smiles by Dr. W and Dr. R. To make an appointment at our Boca Raton, FL or Coral Springs, FL orthodontist office, call (561) 483-0072. You can also contact us using our online form.

Parts of Braces

Appliance: Anything that Dr. W or Dr. R attaches to your teeth that moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw is called an appliance.

Archwire: This metal wire acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. We change it periodically throughout orthodontic treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.

Band: We securely attach this metal ring to your tooth, going completely around it. Bands give us a way to attach brackets to your teeth.

Bond: This is what we call the seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

Bracket: We cement this metal or ceramic part to your tooth to hold your archwire in place.

Coil Spring: This spring fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.

Elastic (Rubber Band): This small rubber band is hooked between different points on your appliance. It provides pressure to move your teeth to their new position.

Elastic Tie: This tiny rubber band fits around your bracket to hold your archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors, so you can customize them to wear your school colors or any other shades you like.

Headgear: Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as 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: The inner bow of your headgear fits into this round, hollow attachment on your back bands.

Hook: We attach elastics to this welded or removable arm.

Ligature: This thin wire holds your archwire into 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.

Mouthguard: This device protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or other rigorous activities. We also sometimes use mouthguards to treat TMJ disorders.

Palatal Expander: A device that makes your upper jaw wider.

Retainer: You wear this appliance 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: This small rubber ring creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.

Tie Wire: This fine wire is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Wax: You can use wax to stop your braces from irritating your lips.

Orthodontic Procedures

Banding: This is the process we use to fit and cement orthodontic bands to your teeth.

Bonding: This is how we attach brackets to your teeth with special orthodontic cement.

Cephalometric X-ray: This X-ray of your head shows the relative positions and growth of your face, jaws, and teeth.

Consultation: This is a meeting with your orthodontist during which we’ll discuss a customized treatment plan for you. At Smiles by Dr. W and Dr. R, all initial orthodontics consultations are complimentary.

Debanding: This is probably the favorite part of the orthodontics treatment for many of our patients! It’s the process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

Debonding: Similar to debanding, this is the process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth. Again, it’s a favorite of our patients!

Impressions: This process usually involves making a model of your teeth by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. We use impressions to prepare your orthodontic treatment plan. However, at Smiles by Dr. W and Dr. R, we use a device that takes digital impressions of your teeth. No more messy molding material!

Invisalign®: An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear customized aligners. Invisalign can correct some, but not all, orthodontic problems. Dr. Wohlgemuth or Dr. Rothstein can determine whether Invisalign treatment is appropriate for you.

Ligation: We use this process to attach an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

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

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