Girl with braces smiling

Meister Orthodontics

Dr. Tammy Meister of Meister Orthodontics is proud to have created beautiful smiles for 20 years. She really loves what she does and it shows in her work. At Meister Orthodontics, we believe in educating our patients as much as possible. We want you to be as informed as possible when coming into Dr. Meister’s office. This is why we’ve provided a glossary list of key words that you may hear around the office.


A wire that is crucial in guiding tooth movement in braces. The wire attaches to each bracket on the braces and connects all of the brackets together.


A thin metal ring that secures orthodontic attachments to a tooth. It is usually made of stainless steel and has orthodontic attachments welded or soldered to it. It is cemented in place on the tooth.


Made from either metal, ceramic, or plastic, this is an attachment that is secured to a tooth to attach to archwire.

Ceramic brackets

These are brackets that are used when the patient wants a more aesthetically pleasing set of braces. Ceramic or “clear braces” are made of crystalline, alumina, or tooth-shade/clear synthetic sapphire.


This occurs when teeth are pushed together too tightly. There is not enough space in between teeth when there is crowding.


This happens when cemented orthodontic bands are removed.


Elastics are rubber bands used to move teeth one way or the other. They are usually connected from the molar to the upper teeth.


This is the tissue that surrounds the teeth that is fibrous and continuous with the periodontal ligament and mucosal covering.

Herbst appliance

This appliance is used for overbite problems but can also be used for other issues. It can be either fixed or removable.


To get a better look at your teeth under your gums, this process acquires better representations of your teeth in either two or three dimensions.


This is the area where the tongue is.


This is the area of the upper jaw. It may be used to describe teeth, orthodontic appliances, facial structures, or dental restorations.


A dental specialist who has completed an advanced post-doctoral course that is accredited by the American Dental Association, of at least two academic years in the special area of orthodontics.

Orthognathic Surgery

This is a surgery to alter relationships of teeth and/or supporting bones. This is usually done in conjunction with orthodontic therapy.


This is the vertical overlapping of upper teeth over lower teeth.


An image produced by ionizing radiation. It can sometimes be called an X-ray.


This can be permanently placed in the mouth or it can be a removable appliance. It is used after teeth straightening to maintain the position of the teeth.

Straight wire appliance

This is an appliance in which brackets are angulated to minimize multiple archwire bends.

Further Questions

If you have any questions about the terms in our glossary, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. We love educating our patients on orthodontics and what goes into the process. If you are in the St. Paul, MN area, request an appointment to see what we can do for you!