Expert Orthodontic Treatment in Littleton, CO

girl smiling

When you’re looking for an orthodontist in Highlands Ranch, CO, we at Inspire Orthodontics are proud to go above and beyond to give you the best orthodontic experience possible. With our wide array of braces and clear braces in Littleton, CO, we’re sure to have an effective orthodontic treatment that’s perfectly suited to your needs. Not only that, but we also place a premium on providing compassionate orthodontic care and patient education in order to best satisfy our patients. We understand how complex and confusing orthodontics can be to someone who’s new to the subject, which is why we’ve supplied you with a glossary of important orthodontic terms that you may run across during the orthodontic process.

Glossary of Orthodontic Terms


An appliance is essentially anything that’s attached to your teeth that will help straighten them or correct your bite.


When you’re wearing braces, the archwire is the wire that runs through the brackets and guides the direction of tooth movement.

Band (Orthodontic)

A band is a thin, metal ring, which is typically made out of stainless steel, that will secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. Bands are closely adapted to fit the contours of teeth before they’re cemented into place.


These orthodontic attachments are cemented to the front of a patient’s teeth and will hold the archwire against them. They generally contain slots that the archwire will fit into.

Ceramic Bracket

While traditional brackets are metal, ceramic brackets are made out of a type of crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade, or clear synthetic in order to give a patient a much more discreet orthodontic treatment.


This is what’s used to hold the archwire onto the brackets.

Coil Spring

This is a winding wire that fits between the brackets and over the archwire.


This is the removal of cemented orthodontic bands.

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

These are tiny rubber rings that are used to tie the archwire into the brackets.

Fixed Retainer

As opposed to removable retainers, this is a permanent retainer that’s bonded to the back of the front teeth in order to keep the teeth from shifting back to unfavorable positions after orthodontic treatment.

Habit Appliance

This is an appliance that’s used to discourage certain bad oral habits, such as thumb or finger sucking.


Headgear can provide extraoral traction that’s used for growth modification, tooth movement, and anchorage.

Herbst Appliance

A Herbst appliance is a fixed or removable appliance that’s designed to treat overbites.


These are molds or imprints of a patient’s teeth that are used to help craft an orthodontic treatment plan.

Interceptive Treatment

Also known as early treatment, interceptive treatment is an orthodontic treatment that’s performed at a younger age – typically between the ages of six and ten. This is so that future orthodontic treatment can be quicker and less invasive.

Lingual Appliances

These are braces that are placed on the interior side of the teeth instead of on the front of the teeth.

MARA Appliance

This is a growth appliance that’s capable of moving a patient’s lower jaw forward to correct an overbite.


This term refers to the upper jaw. It can include teeth, dental restorations, facial structures, or orthodontic appliances.


Mouthguards provide protection to a patient’s teeth, gums, and sometimes even braces while engaging in sports or other activities where there’s the potential for physical contact occurring.

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander is used to create a wider space in a narrower upper jaw. It’s attached to the upper jaw through bonding or with cemented bands.


This is a permanent image that’s created by ionizing radiation. They’re often called ‘X-rays’ because of the most common source of image-producing radiation.


Retainers are orthodontic appliances that are used to maintain the new positions of teeth after orthodontic treatment is completed. They can be either fixed or removable.

Separator (Spacer)

These are small elastics that fit between the teeth to create a little extra space so that bands can be placed around them later.


Orthodontic wax can be used to soothe any irritations that are caused by a patient’s brackets or poking wires from the braces.

Contact Your Orthodontist in Highlands Ranch, CO Today!

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’re interested in braces or clear braces in Littleton, CO, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with us by filling out our appointment request form. We can’t wait to hear from you and give you the best orthodontic experience possible!