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Our team at Phan Orthodontics knows that braces can be a bit overwhelming and confusing. There are many terms used that aren’t common, which can make your appointments very puzzling. So, to help you understand more about braces, we have provided the definitions to the following orthodontic terms:

Band – A band is a metal ring that wraps around your back molars. It is used to provide support to your back teeth and to keep them from breaking or cracking, considering how often the back teeth are used. The band can also be used if headgear or a bite corrector is involved in the orthodontic treatment.

Bracket – A bracket is a small metal square that is glued to the front surface of your teeth. It holds the wire in place and it applies pressure to your tooth to shift and move it into the proper position. The bracket is the part of the braces that you can decorate with different colors of elastics.

Retainer – A retainer is both a permanent and removable appliance that keeps your teeth in place after your braces have moved them. The retainer helps you keep the results you worked so hard to achieve. The appliance can also make minor teeth adjustments if needed.

Adjustment – An adjustment is an appointment that allows your orthodontist to tighten the wires on your appliance to continue shifting your teeth. Your teeth may be a bit sore for a few days after the adjustment, but that just means that your appliance is doing its job by moving your chompers into place.

Orthodontist – An orthodontist is a dentist that has received 2-3 additional years of schooling and training specific to orthodontics. An orthodontist specializes in bite and smile adjustment.

If there are words you still don’t understand or you would like to know more about, please feel free to call 408.251.7901 today and talk to Dr. Derick Phan or a member of our friendly orthodontic team. We are happy to answer your questions and give you the information you need to better understand orthodontics!