An elastic o-ring or small wire loop is placed between the teeth in order to create space for the placement of orthodontic bands. A week prior to the placement of the bands on the teeth, separators are usually placed between the teeth.

Self-Ligating Brackets

An orthodontic bracket that has a “door” on the front that holds the orthodontic wire in place. A self-ligating bracket does not require an elastic ring to hold the orthodontic wire in place.

Serial Extraction

To create room, reduce crowding, and create a better environment for the permanent teeth to erupt, certain primary (baby) teeth are selectively removed or guided over time.

Skeletal Maturity

When an individual stops growing and their bones are fully developed.


Rubber bands (tiny elastics) inserted between molars. A spacer is placed one or two weeks prior to getting braces in order to create space between molars if molar bands are to be used as part of the orthodontic appliance. It is not uncommon for spacers to fall out before braces are placed.

Space Maintainer

A fixed appliance used to hold space for an unerupted permanent tooth after a primary (baby) tooth has been lost prematurely, due to accident or decay.

Supernumerary Teeth

Genetic condition characterized by the presence of more teeth than usual. It is possible for these teeth to be malformed or to erupt abnormally. In addition, these teeth can interfere with the normal pattern of tooth eruption and may contribute to orthodontic problems. It is often necessary to remove supernumerary teeth.