At Studio32 Orthodontics, we know how important achieving the perfect, healthy smile is for each of our patients. Dr. Mullally, a Gainesville orthodontist, is committed to providing excellent orthodontic care while helping you achieve the smile you deserve. This orthodontics glossary can help you become familiar with some of the most common orthodontic terms so you can stay informed throughout treatment. For more information about Gainesville orthodontics or to schedule a consultation for braces, contact us today!

Kid With Braces In Gainesville, FL

Orthodontic Parts

The following orthodontic parts are mainstays for an orthodontist. For more information about the parts used in your unique treatment plan, contact Studio32 Orthodontics.


Any orthodontic device or piece that moves or retains the teeth during treatment or alters the positioning of the jaw. Appliances can be fixed, functional, or removable.


The metal wire that connects orthodontic brackets. The archwire guides the teeth into their new alignment. This wire is replaced periodically throughout treatment.


Bands are metal rings cemented to the back teeth. They secure orthodontic brackets to the teeth.


The seal produced by orthodontic cement that holds fixed orthodontic appliances into place.


Small metal or ceramic pieces that cemented, or bonded, to the teeth. Brackets hold the archwire in place.  


A series of connected elastic o-rings that are placed around each bracket to move the teeth and hold the archwire in place.

Coil Spring

A spring that is generally placed between brackets and over the archwire to create space between the teeth.


Small, pliable rubber bands that are hooked onto different appliances to provide pressure which helps the teeth move in an intended direction.

Elastic Tie

Tiny rubber bands fitted around each bracket to hold the archwire in place during treatment. Elastic ties are available in an assortment of colors to complement a patient’s style.

Fixed Appliances

Orthodontic appliances that are bonded, or cemented, to the teeth. Fixed appliances are not intended to be moved or altered by patients.

Functional Appliances

Braces appliances that utilize muscle movement produced by patients while eating, chewing, speaking, and swallowing to move the teeth and correctly align the jaw.


A spring-like fixed appliance used to move the upper molars upward and backward while pushing lower jaw and teeth backward to aid in proper alignment during orthodontic treatment.

Habit Appliance

An appliance used to discourage and/or stop finger or thumb sucking habits.


A removable orthodontic appliance that applies pressure both to the teeth and the upper jaw with a spring-like neck or head strap. Headgear provides traction for tooth movement and oral growth modification. The inner bow of headgear attaches to the headgear tube, which is a hollow, round appliance secured on back bands.

Herbst Appliance

An appliance used to correct a skeletal imbalance which causes the lower jaw to be behind the upper jaw. The growth of the upper jaw is restricted while the appliance encourages the lower jaw to grow, changing the skeletal pattern.


A small orthodontic device, or arm, that provides structure for attached elastics.

Ligatures Wires & Ligature Ties

Thin wire or small elastic or metallic o-rings that secure archwire brackets.

Lingual Appliances

Appliances attached to the tongue, or interior side of the teeth.

Lip Bumper

An archwire attached to a piece of molded plastic that encourages molars in the lower jaw to recede and provide more space for other teeth.

Mouth Guard

A removable appliance used to protect the mouth, teeth, and braces from harm during rigorous activities, such as sports.

Palatal Expander

An orthodontic appliance that is commonly used in treatment for kids to widen the upper jaw for alignment of both the upper and lower jaw.


Retainers are frequently used after orthodontic treatment is complete to help maintain the alignment of teeth and jaws. This device attaches to the lower and/or teeth to keep them in place. While some retainers are removable, others are cemented to the inside of several teeth.

Separators & Spacers

Small rubber rings used to create space between the teeth prior to band attachment.

Tie Wire

A thin wire twisted around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Tongue Crib

This fixed appliance helps stop habits or unsuitable tongue forces exerted on the teeth and bone supporting the teeth.

Orthodontic Wax

An easy-to-use, take-home remedy for irritation caused by braces. Wax is commonly used by orthodontic patients to provide relief of friction from appliances to the mouth or on the lips.

Orthodontic Procedures

These are some of the most common Gainesville orthodontics procedures performed by the team at Studio32 Orthodontics.

Banding & Debanding

Banding is the process of fitting and fixing orthodontic bands to the teeth, while debanding is performed to remove bands from the teeth.

Bonding & Debonding

Orthodontists use bonding to attach brackets to the teeth with strong orthodontic cement. Debonding is the removal of brackets from the teeth that are fixed with orthodontic cement.

Cephalometric X-Ray

This unique tool captures a complete radiographic image of the patient’s head, from which the Gainesville orthodontist can assess the positions and projected growth pattern of the jaws, teeth, and face.


Orthodontic impressions are used as a mold for every tailored treatment plan. Patients bite into a soft material that slowly hardens into an accurate mold of the teeth and mouth.

Interceptive Treatment

Also called early treatment, interceptive treatment is generally used in children between age 6 and age 10. Using interceptive treatment makes additional treatment less invasive and the timeframe shorter.


The orthodontic process of attaching the archwire to the brackets.

Panoramic X-Rays

A two-dimensional X-ray exam that captures the entire tooth and mouth structure in a single image.


Invisalign is a clear, removable orthodontic treatment that uses a series of comfortable trays to move the teeth to create a beautiful, even smile. The trays are made using 3D computer imaging and have been proven as an effective orthodontic solution for many patients. Studio32 Orthodontics will happily schedule an appointment to see whether you’re a candidate for Invisalign.


An initial meeting with your Gainesville orthodontist, Dr. Mullally, in which patients meet the staff, tour the office and receive a complete initial exam, including X-rays and photos. Studio32 Orthodontics offers a free consultation for each patient during which patients can discuss their orthodontic goals and preferences. Dr. Mullally is happy to provide answers to any questions concerning treatment, orthodontic options, and more!

At Studio32 Orthodontics we take a genuine approach to patient care, watching smiles transform and confidence grow makes our day. We are proud to provide a comprehensive experience for each of our patients, understanding how braces work to give you a confident smile ensures you have the answers you need. Schedule your appointment today!