Impressions
Impression is actually the mold of your teeth. We use a soft gelatin-like material to take the impression. A small tray that fits over your teeth is filled with the material while it is soft. In a matter of a few moments, as the impression material gets hard, your teeth leave an imprint.

Study models
Study models are the white plaster records of our teeth which resulted from your impressions. Your impressions are sent to an Orthodontic laboratory and they are poured with white plaster which turns into the model of your teeth.

Separators
   
Many times, it is necessary to place small elastic rings ( separators ) between your back molars to help make room for placing your bands. This often may feel as if you have a piece of meat caught between your teeth. This sensation passes quickly as your teeth move apart. It is important not to eat anything sticky or chewy that may prematurely pull out the separators.

Mal-Occlusion
This is a term to describe the bite is normal.

Cross-bite/ Under-bite
Nature intended that all of your teeth fit in an orderly manner. That is, all the upper teeth slightly overlap your lower teeth. When a lower tooth crosses this relation and slips to the outside of an upper tooth, this is what we call a cross-bite.

Over-bite
This is a term to describe the degree that the upper teeth are covering the lower teeth. Minimal overbite is normal. However, a deep-bite in which the lower teeth are covered by your upper teeth as you are looking at the front teeth is not healthy or normal.

Open-bite
This is a case where upper and lower teeth do not meet. This can be resulted from any of the following:
> Digit sucking habits
> Tongue thrust habits
> Skeletal discrepancies
> Under-developed teeth

Crowding
Crowding is a direct result of lack of space for all your teeth. There are a few factors that can cause this:
> Premature loss of baby teeth
> Digit sucking habits
> Advance cavities
> Un-erupted or under-developed teeth
> Tooth size discrepancies
> And of course heredity

Impaction
   
This is a tooth which is entrapped in the bone and is not erupted. This could happen for different reasons such as: lack of space, delayed loss of baby teeth, misplaced teeth, trauma in early age, genetics and systemic medical problems.

Digit sucking habit
This is a habit which usually starts at early age and is harmless at the beginning. However, depending on the severity of the habit, if it persists beyond age of two to three years, it could cause permanent changes. These changes could be constricted or narrow arches, open -bite and protruded teeth, spacing and mal-alignment of the teeth and speech problems. Parents are encouraged to consult an orthodontist and stop the habit as soon as possible.

Tongue thrust
This is a habit which usually starts at early age. Depending on the severity of the habit, if it persists beyond the childhood age it could cause permanent changes. These changes could be open -bite and protruded teeth, spacing and mal-alignment of the teeth and speech problems. Parents are encouraged to consult an orthodontist and stop the habit as soon as possible.

Grinding
This is a habit which can be occasional and the severity of the habit could vary depending on your daily stress and pressure level. This habit could cause severe wear of your teeth. You are encouraged to consult your orthodontist to address the habit as soon as possible.

TMJ / TMD problems
TMJ stands for Temporal-Mandibular Joint and TMD stands for Temporal-Mandibular Disorder. This is a problem that can be symptomatic at times. Usually a clicking sound is associated with the symptom which can be detected upon opening wide. The cause of TMD can be multi-factorial such as stress, trauma, arthritis, severe orthodontic problems or skeletal discrepancies. Symptoms severity can vary at different time of the day and level of your daily stress and pressure. You are encouraged to consult your orthodontist to explore different treatment options.

Brackets
   
Brackets are actually the braces that are glued directly on your teeth. We use brackets on all teeth, except the back molars.

Bands
These are thin bands of metal, carefully fitted to the back molars and then cemented in place. They give us a way to grasp and control the back molars. In other words, Bands are the brackets for the molars.

Arch-wire
This is the main wire that fits into the brackets or other attachments on your teeth. This wire is tied to your brackets by small rubber donut ties. The arch-wire acts as a guide or track the movement of your teeth.

Ties
Individual rubber donuts used to tie the arch-wires into the brackets and they come in many designer colors! You can choose and change your colors at your monthly appointments.

Headgear
Headgear is used in conjunction with Braces to reduce the convexity of the profile, by slowing the growth of the upper jaw and moving the upper teeth back. We use the back of the neck, or top of the head as an anchor, to modify and correct the relation of the upper jaw to lower jaw.

Headgear tube
They are the large tubes on the bands of the upper molars which headgear fits into them.

Rubber bands or Elastics
These provide a force that helps teeth move and coordinate your jaws. They are applied by you as prescribed on your appointment by your Orthodontist. They need to be changed two to three times daily.

Retainer
As it would be expected a retainer's job is to retain or hold the teeth at their new position. Retainers are placed when your braces are removed.