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.