Anything that is attached to your teeth that moves your teeth or corrects your bite.


A wire attached to brackets on two or more teeth and capable of guiding tooth movement.


A thin metal ring which secures orthodontic attachments to a tooth. It may be attached to the archwire and brackets or it may be part of a different type of appliance, such as an expander. Bands are selected from a range of sizes in order to find the tightest fitting band that can be closely adapted to the contours of the tooth. It is then cemented into place. 


An orthodontic attachment that is bonded to the tooth for the purpose of engaging an archwire. Our brackets are available in metal or ceramic (tooth-coloured).

Ceramic brackets

Clear-colored brackets that are less visible than conventional metal attachments. Many adults choose there for the esthetic benefits over metal brackets. Learn more here

Coil spring

The coil spring fits between brackets and around the archwire to change or control the amount of space between the teeth.

Elastics (rubber bands)

These are used to move teeth in prescribed direction. They attach to small hooks on the brackets or bands and are replaced regularly by the patient. They come in different sizes and strengths represented by different animal names.

Elastic tie or ligature

A small rubber band that is placed around each bracket to hold the archwire in place. We have these in 15 different colours so that you can change your look with each visit! 


An appliance meant to guide the upper jaw forward. This is used in younger children where the upper jaw is back relative to the lower jaw.


An appliance consisting of a metal facebow, which fits into tubes on the molar bands, and a fabric strap that sits around the back of the head or neck. It is used most commonly for the purposes of growth modification when the lower jaw is positioned back relative to the upper jaw in growing children.

Metal tie or ligature

A small piece of stainless steel that is wound around a bracket to hold the archwire in place. These are occasionally required in place of elastic ties.

Palatal expander

Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, a palatal expander is used to widen a narrow upper jaw that may be causing crossbite of the back teeth.


Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following active treatment. Learn more about retainers here

Separator (spacer)

Small elastics that fit snugly between back teeth to separate them slightly over the course of a week so bands can be more comfortably placed around them.


Patients are instructed to place wax over a bracket or poking wire that is causing irritation to the lip or cheek. This is usually only needed for the first few days in braces.