Basic Orthodontic Knowledge

Ever hear all those dental words being thrown around and feel out of the loop? Here is a guide to common dental terms that you may need to know.

Hook - Could also be called a Kobe tie; attached to a bracket or band, that serves as an attachment point for rubber bands or elastics.

Band - A metal ring is cemented with glue to a tooth for strength and anchoring braces. When orthodontic bands are required, they are most often placed on the back teeth or molars providing a stable foundation for braces. Brackets and wires can be attached directly to orthodontic bands once they are in place.

Steel Tie and Lace - Used to cinch down the wire on a bracket and provide an extra secure hold.

O- Ring - Also called color ties or ligature ties;single rubber color that is put around a bracket in order to keep the wire in place

Chain - Elastic and stretchable series of connected O-rings that are placed around brackets in order to help secure arch wires in place.

Brackets - Brackets are the tools that hold the upper and lower arch wire. Each bracket is attached to a tooth (either by banding or bonding) and holds the wire that is then secured to it with elastic bands.

Arch Wires - A thin metal wire connecting each bracket puts pressure on teeth in order to help guide them into place. The wire exerts a gentle force so that the brackets remain in place when tied in the arch wire.