Orthodontic Terms and Definitions

Though you may have a basic understanding of orthodontic treatment, the lingo can be overwhelming. Knowing the difference between head gear and a retainer will make navigating the waters a little easier. Review the following terms to increase your orthodontic vocabulary.

Terms of orthodontic vocabulary

Appliance

Any device the orthodontist uses to move teeth or reposition your jaw. Appliances can be fixed, like braces and expanders, or removable, like head gear and retainers.

Band

The metal ring placed on your teeth to help hold braces in place.

Biteplate

A removable or fixed device that opens a deep bite by decreasing the vertical overlap of the upper and lower incisor teeth.

Bracket

The ceramic or metal piece cemented to teeth and used as the fastening mechanism for the arch wire.

Braces

Used to align teeth and correct the bite, braces come in various forms, including metal brackets, ceramic brackets, and lingual braces, which are attached behind the teeth.

Diastema

A noticeable space between two teeth, often the front teeth.

Head gear

An orthodontic device used to move your teeth back in your mouth and create room for crowded teeth.

Invisalign aligners

The latest in orthodontic treatment options, Invisalign uses a series of clear, custom trays to gently shift teeth into place. Older teens and adult patients often choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces.

Occlusion

How your upper and lower teeth are aligned and spaced when you bite down.

Palatal Expander

Temporarily placed on the upper arch, a palatal expander helps widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth fit together like they should.

We care about your smile at Mehdi Fotovat Burbank Orthodontist

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