A wire inserted in orthodontic brackets that guides tooth movement.

Band (orthodontic)

A thin metal ring (usually stainless steel) that secures your orthodontic attachments to your tooth. The band, with orthodontic attachments welded or soldered to it, is closely modified to fit the contours of your tooth and is then cemented into place.


An orthodontic attachment secured to your tooth (either by bonding or banding) to engage an archwire. Brackets can be metal or ceramic.

Ceramic brackets

Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are more attractive than traditional metal brackets.

Elastics (rubber bands)

Move your teeth in a prescribed direction (commonly connected to molar band and upper ball hook).


The tissue that surrounds your teeth, which consists of a fibrous tissue that is continuous with the periodontal ligament and mucosal covering, or gums.


Generic word for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of your head) for growth modification, tooth movement, and anchorage.

Herbst or Mara appliance

Fixed (temporarily cemented) appliance intended to correct your overbite problems.

Lingual appliances

Orthodontic appliances that are fixed to the lingual surface of your teeth.


A dental specialist who completed an advanced post-doctoral residency specializing in orthodontics. This course must be accredited by the American Dental Association and the Association of Orthodontists.

Orthognathic surgery

Surgery that modifies the relationship of your teeth and/or supporting bones, usually done in conjunction with orthodontic therapy.


Vertical overlap of your upper teeth over your lower teeth, usually measured perpendicular to the occlusal plane.


Any fixed or removable orthodontic appliance that maintains the position of your teeth following corrective treatment.