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Orthodontics Terms


This is the part of the braces which moves your teeth. The archwire is attached to the brackets by ligature wires or small elastic donuts. They are changed throughout the treatment, and each change brings your teeth closer to their ideal position


These are small attachments that are right on the tooth surface. The brackets are the part of your braces to which the assistant or dentist attaches the archwire.

Sometimes, these brackets may come loose and become an irritant. You can remove it,  and put it into an envelope to bring to your dentist/orthodontist. Be sure to call the office as soon as possible and make an appointment to re-glue the bracket back on.

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

During the treatment, it will be necessary to wear elastics to make sure you get the perfect bite. Once your teeth begin to move in response to elastics, they will move rapidly and comfortably. If they are worn sometimes, they will continue to shock the teeth and cause more soreness. When they are worn on and off, treatment slows down drastically. Having sore teeth between appointments indicates improper wearing of headgear or the elastics or even bad hygiene. Wear the elastics (rubber bands) correctly, attaching them as you are told. Wear them all the time, unless told otherwise, take off your elastics when brushing, and change your elastics as you are told, usually once or twice a day.


These are usually called a “night brace”. Headgear is used to correct some sort of protrusion of the lower or upper jaw It works by keeping the upper jaw from growing forwards and keeping the upper jaw from growing downwards. It may even encourage the teeth to move forward if necessary.


Different types of Malocclusion:

Different types of Malocclusion:

Class I

A Malocclusion where the bite is OK (the top teeth line up with the bottom teeth) but the teeth are crooked, crowded or turned

Class II

A Malocclusion where the upper teeth stick out past the lower teeth.

Class III

A Malocclusion where the lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth. Also called an “underbite”.


The alignment and the spacing of your upper jaw and lower teeth when you bite down.

Types of Occlusion:


Opening between upper and lower teeth (in the front).


Vertical overlapping of the upper teeth over the lower.


Horizontal projection of the upper teeth beyond the lower.


When top teeth bite inside the lower teeth. It can occur with the front teeth or back teeth.

O Rings

O rings (which are also called A-lastics) are little rings that are used to attach the archwire to the brackets. They come in a wide variety of colors such as gray and clear. These are changed at every appointment to make sure there is a good attachment of the archwire to the bracket, making it so our patients can enjoy a wide variety of colors throughout their treatment.


A rubber or plastic donut piece which the dentist uses to create space between your teeth for more bands.

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