Learn More About Braces With This Glossary

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To help your orthodontic appointments go smoother for you, our Kirby Nelson Orthodontics team is happy to teach you a little more about the terminology of braces! We have provided the definitions to the following words to give you an idea of what is being said around our office:

Band – A band is a metal ring that wraps around your back molars and keeps them in tip-top shape as you transform your smile. It can also assist with headgear and bite correctors if needed.

Bracket – A bracket is a small metal square that is glued to the front surface of your tooth. There will be a bracket for each tooth in your smile when you have braces. The bracket holds the orthodontic wire in place and it makes the tooth movements possible.

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 is necessary during your orthodontic journey. It allows your orthodontist to tighten the wires of your appliance to apply added pressure to your teeth. Without this adjustment, your teeth would remain in place and stop shifting.

Orthodontist – An orthodontist is a dentist that has received 2-3 years of additional schooling and training. The schooling and training is specific to orthodontics and once one completes the program, they are a certified orthodontist.

Please remember that you can always talk to our helpful orthodontic team and Dr. Kirby Nelson if you have any questions. We want you to have the best experience possible, and we are more than happy to teach you all we know about orthodontics. We also encourage you to call 425-888-1896 if you would like a question answered quickly. We look forward to talking with you!