Active Treatment

The stage of orthodontic treatment when teeth are actively being moved and/or jaws and bite aligned.


Clear removable appliances that are used to straighten teeth. They fit directly over the teeth and are removable. Can be removed to brush, floss, eat and drink. There are several different types of aligners as well as brand names.

American Association of Orthodontists (AAO)

Professionally qualified orthodontic specialists form the American Association of Orthodontists. Orthodontists are the only members of the AAO. Orthodontists first graduate from dental school and then attend accredited orthodontic residency programs for an additional two to three years. Selecting an AAO member for orthodontic care assures you that the doctor is an orthodontist.


Front teeth or front of the mouth.


A removable or attached device used to move teeth, adjust jaw position, or hold teeth in their finished positions after braces or aligners are removed. This includes retainers, space maintainers, and other orthodontic appliances used to correct bite and alignment issues.


Upper or lower jaw is considered a full arch.


The metal wire that moves the teeth and is attached to the brackets. The archwire is changed during orthodontic appointments and is the part of braces that actually moves your teeth.


The small tooth colored “bumps” that are placed on teeth during clear aligner treatment. As a patient wears aligners,they help hold the aligner in position and assist in moving the teeth. Once treatment is complete, they are removed.