Orthodontic Terminology Explained

clinical assistant holding orthodontic retainers

We understand that the general public may not understand orthodontic terminology. So, we’ve explained our most used orthodontic terms for you!


In certain orthodontic cases, dental extractions are necessary. The purpose is to reduce crowded teeth and establish a stable bite. These extractions happen before or during orthodontic treatment. Not all cases will require extractions – in fact, it is usually NOT necessary.


Orthodontic elastics, or rubber bands, are small stretchy loops of latex. They help move teeth into proper alignment during orthodontic treatment. Not wearing your elastics, makes your treatment last longer than necessary.


Also known as an elastic tie, a cheerio is a tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket. This holds the archwire in place. They come in clear or a variety of fun colors.


This appointment is necessary for taking your braces off or removing attachments. We also deliver retainers and take final records (photos and x-ray).


An orthodontic aligner is a clear plastic tray that sits over your teeth. We use aligners for tooth and bite movement in clear aligner treatments. Aligners are custom-made plastic trays made with a 3D scanner to fit your teeth. Additionally, each aligner moves the teeth step by step towards the final position.


These are little, tooth-colored dots made of composite filling material. We bond attachments to teeth to help the aligners move the teeth. We also polish off attachments at the end of your treatment.

iTero Intraoral Scanner

This is a touch-enabled 3D scanner that gives a more accurate view of your mouth, gums, teeth, and all other oral structures. The best part about using this device is that it makes it easier to create digital impressions. Digital impressions create aligners, appliances, and retainers for orthodontic procedures.


This is the most important phase of orthodontic treatment! Retainers must be worn to keep teeth in the corrected positions after treatment with orthodontic braces or aligners. Without retention, there is always a tendency for teeth to return to their initial position (relapse).


A clear plastic tray is like an aligner in looks but is made of a completely different material. First of all, this tray keeps your teeth from moving after they’ve been straightened with braces. Secondly, we design retainers using the 3D scanner for a perfect custom fit. Our goal is to maintain your beautiful smile!

We hope this orthodontic terminology explained benefits the understanding of your treatment! Of course, if you ever have any concerns about your treatment, please don’t hesitate to ask. Our Katy, Texas team is happy to answer any questions you have.

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Hey there! 👋 Meet our Treatment Coordinators, Nessa, Amy, and Kristy!

As a Treatment Coordinator or TC, these ladies' role is to meet with each one of our new patients!

You can expect them to listen to your needs and desires and then relay them to Dr. Gutierrez.

They’ll gather notes from Dr. G as he determines the correct treatment plan. 📝 Then explain all the ortho terms to you in a way you can better understand!

Our Treatment Coordinators will put together estimated fees based on your unique treatment plan and go over them with you.

Before ending your appointment, you’ll have time to ask questions or express any additional concerns.

At that time you can go ahead and schedule 🗓 if you’re ready to do so!

All of our consultations are complimentary (free of charge!). We can’t wait to meet you!

To schedule a consultation, fill out the request form on our website, kccortho.com (🔗link in bio!). Feel free to also contact us via phone! 📞 281-392-0888.

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Our team is often greeted each morning by Dr. G, asking how we are doing, about our weekend or events in our lives. There is no doubt that we are a TEAM here at KCC Orthodontics. 🫶 ...

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We recently hosted a Katy, Texas Trivia contest in our office. Jess & Jeysse had a blast going around town, taking photos of our beloved Katy town.

They captured this photo at Katy Heritage Park.

If you are curious about the answers to our Katy Trivia contest, here they are! ⬇️
🔹The MKT Train, “The Katy”, last operated in 1988
🔹There are 6 water towers in the City of Katy
🔹The Katy, Texas Buc-ee’s carwash is 255 ft long
🔹LaCenterra is 16 years old
🔹Katy ClearChoice Orthodontics was born in 1999
🔹The Katy American Little League baseball fields are at Katy Park
🔹The Katy Dog Park is located on Franz Rd
🔹Katy Mills Mall opened in 1999
🔹Katy City Hall is located on Avenue C
🔹Mary Jo Peckham Park covers 32 acres

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Making smiles happen is our goal and we know that comes by more than just straightening teeth. 💙 We hope when you visit KCC Orthodontics, you experience FUN and laughter. We hope you find that your appointments are streamlined and there is a sense of peace when you step into our office.

To schedule your next appointment, please call our office (281) 392-0888. We look forward to seeing you!

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Hello! My name is Dr. Jorge Gutierrez. I have the pleasure of being the primary doctor at KCC Orthodontics. It is an honor getting to serve Houston, Katy, and the surrounding communities!

I hope to bring smiles to the people of our community and be a light to their lives. It's about more than straightening teeth for me.

If we’ve met, thank you for your trust in us! If we haven’t, I hope that we get to meet soon. To request a free consultation, please message us or call us at (281) 392-0888 so our team can assist you in scheduling.

Have a blessed day & KEEP SMILING! 😃

-Dr. G

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It’s worth watching until the end… We hope this makes you laugh as much as we did!!

Keep smiling KCC fam!!💙
#katytx #katyorthodontics

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The school dance teams have nothing on KCC Ortho’s dance team. 😜😂💃
#kccorthodontics #katytx #dance

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Whether you’re a patient of ours or simply enjoy following us on social (maybe a future patient 😉), we hope you always remember to SMILE.

To request a free consultation, please complete the form on our website: 🔗kccortho.com

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This magical wand has advanced our office quite a bit and we LOVE it! All retainers are now digitally scanned. 🔹 Additionally, we use this iTero scanner to scan our patients for their Invisalign and LightForce treatment.

Both of these treatments are designed specifically and uniquely for YOU!

Call us and let’s chat about how our digital scanner can benefit your orthodontic treatment! (281) 392-0888

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Sierra, it was a pleasure treating you! Thank you for trusting us and for committing to us throughout your treatment. 😃 We appreciate you!

To read more of our testimonials, please visit our website 🔗https://kccortho.com/reviews/ 🔹You may also share your own experience here too!

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Kevin, thank you for sharing this testimonial! We are honored to hear about your experience. 💙 ...

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We may be biased about being the best but…

Our many wonderful patients here at KCC Ortho would agree! See what they said ➡️ 🔗kccortho.com/reviews


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Have a blessed weekend, KCC Fam! 🤩 - from Sara and Annie ...

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