Orthodontic Terms


We are pleased to offer information about many common orthodontic terms used by Dr. Joseph Basile and our team at Prior Lake Orthodontics  in Prior Lake, Minnesota

  1. Archwire

A wire applied to two or more teeth through fixed attachments to cause or guide orthodontic tooth movement. A wire used as a source of force to direct teeth to move in desired directions.

  1. Ball Hook

Used to attach elastics to braces.

  1. Bracket/Band (Orthodontic)

A thin metal ring that is usually made of stainless steel and serves to secure orthodontic appliances to a tooth. The band, with orthodontic appliances welded or soldered to it, is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and then cemented into place.

  1. Coil Spring

A small spring that is placed around the arch wire to either maintain or increase the space between teeth.

  1. Elastic/Rubber Band

A small rubber band used to move teeth in the prescribed direction.

  1. Gingiva

Soft tissue around and between the teeth. This tissue consists of a fibrous tissue that is continuous with the periodontal ligament, and a mucosal that is continuous with the lining of the mouth.

  1. Hygiene

The practice of measures designed to attain and preserve oral health. These actions help keep your teeth, jaw bone, and gums clean and healthy.

  1. Molar Hook

A hook that is soldered to the band to serve as a place to hook your elastics to the molar teeth.

  1. Ligature/Steel Tie

A tie used to secure individual teeth to an orthodontic arch wire, typically made of wire or elastic material. A small steel wire is tied to the bracket to secure the arch wire to the bracket. Ligature ties are also used to secure brackets together.

  1. Power Chain

Two or more gray or clear elastic chains used to move teeth toward each other.

  • Prior Lake Orthodontics - 5116 Gateway St. S.E., Suite 103, Prior Lake, MN 55372 Phone: 952-447-6088

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