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Orthodontic Methods and Tools Terms

bite out

Acid etch

Refers to a procedure in which we brush a weak type of acid onto your child’s teeth before
applying braces; the acid ‘etches’ into the normally smooth enamel and allows the brackets
to stay firmly glued in position throughout the treatment period.

Aspirator

Refers to a straw-like tube our orthodontist puts in your child’s mouth to ‘vacuum’ up
saliva while we’re carrying out treatment in your child’s mouth. We call it ‘aspiration’.

Banding

Refers to the process of attaching orthodontic bands to your child’s teeth, using dental cement.

Bonding

Refers to the process of attaching brackets to your child’s teeth, using a special, safe glue.

Curettage

Refers to the procedure in which the periodontist scrapes your child’s gums to remove bacteria.

Curing Light

Refers to the special ultra-violet (UV) light our orthodontist uses to help attach your child’s
braces to their teeth. The UV light changes the composition of the glue holding the brackets to
your child’s teeth, causing it to form an extremely durable bond.

Impressions

Refers to the process we use to produce an accurate replica of your child’s upper and lower teeth and
dental ridge: we fill a mouth-shaped tray with a special soft plaster-like material called
algenate, insert the tray into your child’s mouth, and ask him or her to briefly bite down. Then we removed
it and use it as an extremely accurate casting of your child’s teeth and dental ridge from
which we can make an accurate mold of his or her upper and lower jaw.

Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment

Refers to the Orthodontic work that we do when your child is between six and eight years old; in order
to make later treatment simpler and more effective, we begin early – widening your child’s palate and
making other corrections.

Interproximal Stripper

Refers to the instrument we use to remove some of the tooth enamel from the sides of crowded, adjacent teeth, creating extra room in between.

Irrigation

Refers to when we spray a stream of water into your child’s mouth throughout the treatment, to clean and swish out debris.

Mathieu Plier

Refers to the special locking pliers used to keep a tight grip on small parts of your child’s mouth during a procedure.

Oral-Maxillo Facial Surgery

Refers to any of several kinds of surgery designed to repair/correct teeth and jaw deformities, in relationship to the three-dimensional facial skeleton (oral= of the mouth; maxillo= of the maxilla).

Orthognathic Surgery

Refers to surgery that cuts, corrects and permanently changes the length of either one or both jaw bones in order to create a balanced, closed bite when the jaws are at rest (ortho= imposed movement, gnath= jaw bone).

Orofacial

Refers to anything about the mouth and face.

Orthodontics

Refers to the specialty of dentistry involved in the correction and prevention of imbalances, structural abnormalities, and poor alignment of the teeth and jaws.

Scaler

Refers to the thin silver rod with a curved hook on the end that we use to remove extra cement, check for gaps in your child’s teeth, and examine tooth repairs to be certain they’re adhering properly.

Traction

Refers to the process of moving or adjusting your child’s bone position or length by placing it under a specific amount of constant tension. This is done through a variety of methods.

Tightening Braces

Refers simply to the process of checking and adjusting your child’s braces to move his or her teeth into
position over time; sometimes we tighten and shift the wires, sometimes we replace them with
stronger ones. We’ll ask your child to come in and see us every three to six weeks while he or she
has braces.

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