Dental Braces/Brackets

A metal, gold or tooth colored (ceramic) device used to align and straighten teeth.  They can be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to widen the palate/jaws or move molars into the proper position. 

The most common type is traditional metal/ceramic braces which have rubber ties that hold the wire onto the metal brackets. 

Self- Ligating Braces – do not require the rubber (elastic) ties around the bracket.

Clear Braces – provides a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces and blend in with the natural color of your teeth (hidden appearance).

Gold-Plated Braces – provides a bracket option for patient allergic to the nickel in stainless steel or those who chose prefer the look of gold over silver.

Titanium Braces – closely resembles stainless steel, but are lighter and just as strong.  People with a nickel allergy may choose titanium braces, but they are generally more expensive than stainless steel.

Customized Orthodontic Treatment Systems – Intertwine high-technology and treatment planning software to customize the bracket or the wires.  Customized systems such as this offer faster treatment times and provide very efficient results.  The treatment is more expensive and may not be offered at most orthodontic offices.

Clear Removable Aligners – (Examples are Invisalign, Clear Correct, or Red/White/Blue) progressively move teeth into their final positions.  Aligners are not recommended for complex orthodontic cases such as extractions, jaw surgery or palatal expansion.  Clear aligners allow patient improvement in oral hygiene because they can be removed to brush and floss.  Also, they have to be removed when you eat or drink something other than water.


A metal ring placed around a tooth (usually molars) which has a metal slot to hold the archwire for tooth correction.

Buccal Tube

A small metallic tube designed for welding to the outside of a molar band.  These tubes typically are used to hold orthodontic appliances or archwires.


Clear wax is used to prevent your braces from oral irritations of the lip, cheek and tongue (especially when you first get your braces).

Power Chain

Continuous o-shaped elastic materials that help pull the teeth closer to one another.

Rubber Bands

Are elastic bands that hook onto the braces to help move the upper and lower teeth relative to each other, to achieve a better bite.  Rubber bands are very effective at correcting overbite, underbites or dental midlines. 


A metal wire that goes through the bracket slots (braces) to shift your teeth into the proper position.

Palatal Expanders

Expanders are used to widen the upper jaw to allow the upper and lower jaw to fit together better.

Retainers (Removable or Fixed)

Maintains the position of the teeth after the braces are removed, and holds them in the corrected position while your jaw hardens and teeth get strongly attached to your jaw. Most people are directed to wear their retainer(s) every night, with many being directed to wear them during the day (initially).

Appliances to move the teeth/jaw (forward or backwards)

Appliances designed to correct the bite and improve facial profile.

Orthodontic Sports Guard

A rubber device used to protect your mouth from injury when you are participating in sports.  This device is crucial for orthodontic patients, to prevent oral trauma.  The boil and bite sports guards are not recommended with braces.

Temporary Anchorage Device (TADs)

TADs are implants that are fixed to the bone for the purpose of providing anchorage for tooth movement.  They are small titanium screws that are placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaws.  The TAD(s) are removed at the completion of orthodontic treatment.  TADs can reduce orthodontic treatment time, and allow limited tooth movement in preparation for a bridge, crown or implant sometimes without braces.