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Orthodontic Terms

  • Archform: the shape of the dental arch. For example the orthodontist could say that you have a horseshoe archform or a "v"-shaped archform.

  • Class I Malocclusion: a Malocclusion where your bite is OK (your top teeth line up with your bottom teeth) but your teeth are crooked, crowded or turned.

  • Class II Malocclusion: a Malocclusion where your upper teeth stick out past your lower teeth.

  • Class III Malocclusion: a Malocclusion where your lower teeth stick out past your upper teeth. This is also called an "underbite".

  • Crossbite: a malocclusion where some of your upper teeth are inside of your lower teeth when you bite down.

  • Crowding: an orthodontic problem caused by having too many teeth in two small of a space.

  • Deep Bite: a malocclusion where your upper teeth cover your lower teeth more than it should when you bite down.

  • Diastema: a space between two teeth.

  • Fixed Appliance: any orthodontic component that is cemented or bonded to the teeth.

  • Full Orthodontic Treatment: getting braces.

  • Interocclusal Registration: a wax bite which is used to see how your teeth come together.

  • Interproximal Stripping: reduction of the enamel of the teeth on both sides of the tooth. This procedure is preformed to create space for crowded teeth.

  • Lingual Appliances: orthodontic appliance fixed to the inside of your teeth. i.e. Lingual appliances are attached to the part of your teeth next to your tongue.

  • Lingual Arch: an orthodontic wire attached from molar to molar in the inside of your teeth.

  • Lingual Retainers: a variation of the lingual arch going from cuspid to cuspid.

  • Malocclusion: poor positioning of your teeth.

  • Occlusion: the alignment of your upper and lower teeth when you bite down.

  • Open bite: a malocclusion in which the teeth do not close or come together in the front of your mouth.

  • Orthodontics: is a specialty of dentistry that diagnoses and treats dental and facial irregularities.

  • Orthodontic treatment: is recommended to correct tooth position. Tooth movement is accomplished by light pressure exerted on the teeth. The pressure is applied by a variety of orthodontic appliances. Research has improved these appliances to apply gentile forces over the course of treatment.

  • Overbite: vertical overlapping of the upper teeth over the lower.

  • Overjet: horizontal projection of upper teeth in front of the lower.

  • Proper Occlusion: a beautiful smile where all of your teeth are straight and your top teeth line up with your bottom teeth.

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