As your esteemed provider of Damon braces and Invisalign in Lawrence and Topeka, KS, we at Hamilton, Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics don’t simply want to offer you high-quality orthodontic treatments – we want to help you become fully aware and knowledgeable of orthodontics and everything it entails. This will allow you to make better decisions when it comes to your orthodontic health. As your Lawrence and Topeka orthodontist, we’d like to provide you with a glossary of important orthodontic terms. 


This refers to anything that’s attached to your teeth that will either correct your bite or move your teeth. 


An archwire is the wire part of the braces that’s affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth. It guides the direction of tooth movement. 

Band (orthodontic)

This is a thin, metal ring, generally made out of stainless steel, that secures orthodontic attachments to a tooth. A band is closely adapted, in order to fit the contours of a tooth, and then it’s cemented into place. 


These are orthodontic attachments that hold the archwire against each tooth. These traditionally metal brackets contain slots that the archwire fits into. The brackets may be attached directly to each tooth or to a band. 

Ceramic brackets

Ceramic brackets are brackets that are made out of a type of crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade, or clear synthetic in order to provide a much more aesthetically-pleasing form of orthodontic treatment. 


An elastic chain that is used to hold the archwires onto the brackets.

Coil spring

A coil spring is a winding of wire that’s attached to an orthodontic appliance. 


The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.

Elastics (rubber bands)

These are tiny rubber rings that tie the archwire into the bracket. 

Fixed retainer

is a permanent retainer that’s bonded to the back side of the front teeth in order to keep teeth from shifting after orthodontic treatment. 

Habit appliance

This is an appliance that’s designed to discourage certain bad habits, such as thumb-sucking.


Generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for growth modification, tooth movement, and anchorage.

Herbst appliance

Fixed or removable appliance designed commonly for overbite problems.


An impression is a mold or imprint of a patient’s teeth that’s used to create an orthodontic treatment plan. 

Interceptive treatment

Interceptive treatment, also known as early treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment usually performed between the ages of 6 and 10. This phase of treatment makes future orthodontic treatment faster and less invasive.

Lingual appliances

Orthodontic appliances fixed to the interior (tongue) side of teeth.

MARA appliance

A growth appliance that helps correct overbites by positioning the patient's lower jaw forward.


This refers to the upper jaw. It can include teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances, or facial structures.


Mouthguards will provide protection to a patient’s teeth, gums, and braces while playing sports or other activities with the potential for contact. 

Palatal expander

Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the palatal expander is used to create a wider space in the upper jaw.


A permanent image, typically on film, produced by ionizing radiation. Sometimes called an X-ray after the most common source of image-producing radiation.


Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.

Separator (spacer)

Small elastics that fit snugly between certain teeth to move them slightly so bands can be placed around them later.


Patients are instructed to place wax over a bracket or poking wire that is causing irritation to the lip or cheek.

Contact Yor Topeka and Lawrence Orthodontist Today!

If you have any further questions in the field of orthodontics or you’re like to learn more about our Lawrence and Topeka Damon braces or Invisalign treatments, we encourage you to contact us. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with us, please feel free to fill out our appointment request form. We hope to hear from you soon!