Orthodontic Terminology Explained

clinical assistant holding orthodontic retainers

We understand that the general public may not understand orthodontic terminology. So, weโ€™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 โ€“ 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 donโ€™t hesitate to ask. Our Katy, Texas team is happy to answer any questions you have.

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Happy Thanksgiving!! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฆƒ We're thankful for you!

Anyone running a fun run today?
Eating pie?
Family traditions?

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Stay positive KCC family! Todayโ€™s going to be a good day. ๐Ÿ˜

โ€œโ€ฆweeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.โ€ Psalm 30:5

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If Annieโ€™s on the headset, you can rest assured she is following up on all your insurance needs!!

We accept most insurances. In fact, we are one of the only private practices in Katy, Texas who accepts the Katy ISD insurance! (Guardian PPO & DHMO)

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KCCโ€™s Walk In Time ๐Ÿค˜๐ŸŽธ๐Ÿ˜œโœจ ...

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All gave some, some gave all. Today we honor our Veterans. We hope y'all have fun today! Thank you for your brave service. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ...

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Did you know every single patient gets their choice of a black or gray tshirt!?

Yup! We love being unified as a KCC family!!

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Retainers are for L I F E , as long as you want to keep your teeth straight and your bite sitting properly.

Retainer wear is crucial to the longevity of your orthodontic treatment results!

๐Ÿ”น wear retainers everyday
๐Ÿ”น wear them full time or night time only (depending what Dr. G informs you)
๐Ÿ”น wear retainers on vacation
๐Ÿ”น wear retainers after you get married
๐Ÿ”น wear retainers at your friends house

& IF they break, get lose, or eaten by the dog - call us right away! We are more than happy to get you a new retainer made so that you donโ€™t have to go through orthodontic treatment again.

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Steph and Davin, thank yโ€™all so much! We love your family ๐Ÿค— ...

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Behind the scenes at KCC Orthodontics! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The majority of us here are C O F F E E drinkers. Whoโ€™s in line next?? โ˜•๏ธ

Not pictured: Dr. G who will come in right behind us!

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Wondering what to expect at your first orthodontic appointment? Here it is!

You'll be introduced by our team at the front desk. The ladies will get you checked in and make sure your paperwork is complete.

Then Carmen (pictured left) will come introduce herself and get you (or your child) to take initial records.

After that, Amy or Nessa (pictured middle and right) will introduce themselves and bring you into one of our Treatment Coordinating offices.

Here, the doctor will provide an assessment of your teeth and bite and talk to you and the treatment coordinator about the treatment plan.

You'll have a chance to ask questions during this time!

Our treatment coordinator will wrap up your appointment by presenting estimated treatment fees and answering any final questions.

If you'd like, we can go ahead and get you scheduled then before you leave!

Have any additional questions? We're always here to help! (281) 392-0888.

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hope your day is as bright as our shirts!


Do we look like we came from #bucees???

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A little blooper remix for your Friday. Hope you get some knee slapping laughs in today!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’™ ...

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If you need a reminder to schedule your next (or first! ๐Ÿ˜‰) appointment, this is it!

Weโ€™ll see you soon!

(281) 392-0888

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Lisbeth, your feedback is encouraging for us! Thank you for taking the time to share. ๐Ÿ˜ ...

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If work isnโ€™t fun, youโ€™re doing it wrong. ๐Ÿคฉ Never a dull moment around here. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’— ...

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Itโ€™s time for another
M O V I E โ€ข T I C K E T

Weโ€™re giving away 4 movie tickets ๐ŸŽฅ to 1 lucky winner!!

Type "I love KCC Orthodontics" in the comments of this post & tag a friend!!


โ‡๏ธ Bonus entry if you share to your story & tag us! ๐Ÿ˜

Giveaway ends TOMORROW, Nov 2!
โœจWinner will be announced Nov 3.

This giveaway is crossposted. It is not affiliated with Cinemark, Instagram or Facebook. We will never ask you to enter a credit card or personal information. For questions, please contact Katy ClearChoice Orthodontics.

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