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Update Your Orthodontics Vocabulary

Oct 22, 2014 - 12:10 PM EST |  Posted under: General, Orthodontics
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Whether you are new to braces for kids or adults, or already in full treatment, it never hurts to have a better understanding of some of the terms you might hear at your visits to the orthodontist. Check out our quick guide to get a better idea of what might be going on with your orthodontics.

1. Brackets

Brackets are the metal or ceramic pieces that are bonded to each tooth and hold archwires in place. They are the foundations of braces.

2. Archwire 

The archwire is the wire that goes through all of the bands and brackets of braces and guides the teeth into their new positions. Most likely, you will have an upper archwire and a lower archwire. Some of your orthodontist appointments might be for a new archwire, which means you will be getting a tighter wire to help continue the movement of the teeth.

3. Elastics

Elastics, or rubber bands, are attached to hooks on the teeth and can move teeth in ways that brackets and wires alone cannot do. Elastics are most commonly used to realign the jaws in patients with malocclusion issues, such as an overbite or a crossbite.

4. Elastic Ties

Elastic ties are the little rubber loops that secure the archwires to the brackets. One of the fun parts of braces for children is getting to pick from a whole array of colored elastic ties.

5. Power Chain

A power chain in similar to elastic ties, except the elastic ties are linked together to form a chain. This type of ligature is extremely effective in closing spaces between teeth and keeping those spaces closed.

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