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Orthodontic Terms To Know

As your orthodontist serving Westmont, we know it can sometimes be daunting to visit our office if you are not fully informed on certain procedures and terms. We decided to break down some orthodontic terms for you to help you through your appointments.



An appliance is what it sounds like: anything the orthodontist may attach to your teeth that will help move your teeth or change the shape of your jaw for an ending result of a perfect smile.


Buccal Tube

This tube is the small metal part that’s welded on the outside of a molar band. The molar band contains slots to hold things that your orthodontist uses to move your teeth, some of which include archwires, lip bumps, and facebrows.


Fixed Retainer

A fixed retainer is permanently placed in your mouth that can enhance the stability of your beautiful smile and perfect bite. The retainers are glued or bonded on the backside of your front teeth and over time, you may even forget it’s there!



The first step in making a model of your teeth comes when the orthodontist takes impressions of your teeth. The process is easy: you bite into a container filled with a rubber-type material that hardens and eventually produces a mold of your pearly whites.


Panoramic X-Rays

This specific x-ray is taken by a machine that rotates around your head to give your orthodontist a picture of your teeth, jaws, and other important information that wouldn’t be visible in just a regular x-ray.


Removable Retainer

A removable retainer is an appliance given to you by your orthodontist that you are to wear after your braces are removed. You can either get an upper retainer or lower retainer, or both, and they attach to your teeth to hold them in the correct position as the bone around your teeth adjust to the new positions of your teeth. When you first receive your retainer, you are to wear it 24 hours a day, but eventually, you switch to wearing it only at night.



These can be either plastic or metal and are the part that the orthodontist uses to create a space between your teeth for the bands to be inserted.


If you have more questions regarding a specific orthodontic procedure or if you’re due for an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact your orthodontist serving Westmont today at 630.608.6676 or fill out a contact form on our website!

Do not wait, contact us today for free and learn more.