Common Orthodontic Terms You Need to Know

September 13, 2012

Orthodontic treatment is a great way to make your smile more attractive and ultimately healthier. With the advancements made in orthodontic care, conventional braces are no longer the only way to correct misaligned teeth. When establishing a treatment plan with your orthodontist, it is important to know your options as well as common orthodontic terms. Here are a few common orthodontic terms you should know:

Dental braces

Appliance: An appliance is any device your orthodontist attaches to your teeth in order to move your teeth or shape your jaw. This includes traditional braces, retainers, headgear, or Incognito Braces.

Archwire: The archwire is the wire which runs through the brackets in braces. Your orthodontist will adjust the tension of the archwire in order to help move your teeth into place.

Chain: The chain is a set of plastic rings used to hold the archwire in place.

Ectopic Eruption: Ectopic eruption is an orthodontic term used to describe teeth that “erupt,” or grow, into the gum line in an abnormal position or at an abnormal location.

Fixed Appliance: Fixed appliances are appliances that are indefinitely applied to a person’s mouth. Fixed retainers are among the most common types of fixed appliances.

Incognito Braces: Incognito Braces are braces that are attached to the back of a patient’s teeth. Incognito Braces are well-hidden and are ideal for people who suffer from mild malocclusions.

Invisalign: Invisalign is a set of clear, plastic appliances used as an alternative to braces. Invisalign trays are virtually invisible and do not need to be worn at all times.

Panoramic X-Ray or Radiography: Panoramic x-rays are radiographs taken from a camera rotating around a patient’s head. They provide your orthodontist with a comprehensive look at your teeth and jaw.

Wax: Dental wax is used to prevent your braces from irritating your cheeks or gums. It is generally applied at the patient’s discretion.

To learn more about orthodontics and common terms associated with orthodontic care, call Seligman Orthodontics at (888) 785-6413. We are located on Park Avenue and offer a variety of orthodontic treatment, including conventional braces, Invisalign, and Incognito Braces.

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