Drs. Edstrom, Trigonis
& Swenson
Eric C. Edstrom & Alex J. Trigonis, DDS, MS
Adam L. Swenson, DMD, MS
Specialists in Orthodontics for Children & Adults 
805.687.5561

Drs. Edstrom, Trigonis & Swenson & Team
Drs. Edstrom, Trigonis
& Swenson

Eric C. Edstrom and Alex J. Trigonis DDS, MS.
Adam L. Swenson DMD, MS

Specialists in Orthodontics for Children & Adults

Orthodontic Glossary

Glossary

Anterior

Front.

Appliances
Any device, attached to the teeth or removable, designed to move the teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold the teeth in their finished positions after braces are removed.

Glossary

Arch
Upper or lower jaw.

Archwire
The metal wire that is attached to the brackets and used to move the teeth.

Band
The metal ring that is cemented to a tooth for strength and anchorage.

Braces
A word commonly used to describe a fixed orthodontic appliance, usually comprised of brackets, bands and wires.

Glossary

Bracket 
The small metal, ceramic, or plastic attachment bonded to each tooth with a tooth-colored adhesive. The bracket has a slot that the archwire fits into.

Bruxism
Grinding the teeth, usually during sleeping. Bruxism can cause abnormal tooth wear and may lead to pain in the jaw joints.

Crossbite
Upper posterior (back) teeth are in crossbite if they erupt and function inside or outside of the arch in the lower posterior teeth. Lower anterior (front) teeth are in crossbite if they erupt and function in front of the upper anterior teeth. A crossbite can be individual teeth or groups of teeth.

Elastics 
Rubber bands. During certain stages of treatment, small elastics or rubber bands are worn to provide individual tooth movement or jaw alignment.

Glossary

Facebow
A wire appliance used with a nightbrace, or headgear. Primarily used to move the upper first molars back, creating room for crowded or protrusive front teeth. The facebow has an internal wire bow and an external wire bow. The internal bow attaches to the tube on the upper molar bands inside the mouth and the outer bow attaches to the breakaway safety strap of the nightbrace.

Gingiva
Soft tissue around the teeth, also known as the gums.

Headgear 
An appliance worn outside of the mouth to provide traction for growth modification and tooth movement.

Glossary

Lingual
The tongue side of the teeth in both arches.

Malocclusion
The term used in orthodontics to describe teeth that do not fit together properly. From Latin, the term means “bad bite.”

Mandible
Lower jaw.

Maxilla
Upper jaw.

Mouthguard
A removable device used to protect the teeth and mouth from injury caused by sporting activities. The use of a mouthguard is especially important for orthodontic patients.

Nightguard
A removable appliance worn at night to help minimize the damage or wear while clenching or grinding teeth during sleep.

Glossary

Open Bite
A malocclusion in which teeth do not make contact with each other. With an anterior open bite, the front teeth do not touch when the back teeth are closed together. With a posterior open bite, the back teeth do not touch when the front teeth are closed together.

Orthodontics
The specialty area of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, supervision, guidance and correction of malocclusions. The formal name of the specialty is orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Orthodontist
A specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists are required to complete college requirements, graduate from an accredited dental school and successfully complete a minimum of two academic years of full-time, university-based study at an accredited orthodontic residency program. Only those who have completed this education may call themselves orthodontists. Orthodontists limit their practice to orthodontic treatment only unless they have training in another dental specialty.

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Overbite
Vertical overlapping of upper teeth over lower teeth.

Retainer
A fixed or removable appliance worn after the braces are removed. A removable retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth and holds them in their finished positions

Wires
Also known as archwires, they are held in the brackets using small elastic o-rings or stainless steel wire ligatures. Wires are used to move the teeth.