Here are some terms you might hear concerning your orthodontic treatment.

We try to avoid unnecessary jargon, but if you’re ever unsure about any step of your journey, please let us know.




Your upper or lower jaw.


The thin metal wire we use to move your teeth.


Tiny dots of tooth-coloured composite that we place on your teeth to help your Invisalign aligners achieve specific movements.

Learn more about Invisalign attachments


How your upper and lower teeth come together.


The cheek-side of your back teeth.


Small ceramic or metal modules, which are attached to each tooth and connected by a thin metal archwire.

Braces behind your teeth


Hardened dental plaque, which can cause decay and gum disease.

Cephalometric radiograph

An X-ray that shows us a side view of your face.

Class I malocclusion

Where the position of your molars and your bite is normal, but your other teeth are misaligned.

Class II malocclusion

A misalignment where your upper teeth protrude past your lower teeth.

Class III malocclusion

A misalignment where your lower teeth protrude past your upper teeth.

Cone Beam CT (CBCT)

A 3D X-ray of your teeth and jaws.


Where your upper teeth bite inside your lower teeth.


The process of removing your fixed braces from your teeth.


White marks on teeth, which are caused by poor oral hygiene or excessive amounts of sugar or fizzy drinks.

Deep bite

Where your upper front teeth excessively overlap your lower teeth – also known as an overbite.

Diagnostic records

Everything we need to diagnose and plan your treatment, including X-rays, photos, scans, a clinical examination and medical history.


Elastic bands that connect your upper and lower braces to improve the position of your teeth and jaws.

Elastic ligatures

Small elastic bands that attach your archwire to your brackets (available in many different colours!).

Braces behind your teeth


The tough outer layer of your teeth.

Fixed appliance

Fixed braces, which are attached to your teeth for the duration of your treatment.

Discover clear and metal fixed braces


A thin piece of soft tissue that connects your lips to your gums.


Another word for gums – the soft tissues that surround your teeth.


Also known as congenitally missing teeth, hypodontia is a genetic condition where you’re born with fewer teeth.

Hyrax appliance

A removable brace for children that we use to widen the upper jaw.

Interdental brushes

Small, bristled brushes that you can use to clean between your teeth and around fixed braces.


A clear aligner system that uses custom-made, removable aligners to straighten your teeth.

Invisalign in Clonmel and Newbridge

Braces behind your teeth

Interceptive treatment

Early orthodontic treatment that we recommend for some younger patients to intercept a developing problem.


Interproximal reduction (IPR) involves the removal of tiny amounts of enamel from between teeth to help them move efficiently and improve your outcome.

Learn more about IPR


The lip and cheek side of your teeth.


The tongue side of your teeth.


A type of dental misalignment, for example, crowding, spacing or an overbite.


The lower jaw.


The upper jaw.


A dental device that fits over your teeth to protect them from trauma, for example, during contact sports.


How your teeth meet together when you close your jaws.

Open bite

Where your upper and lower teeth don’t come together when you close your mouth.


A dental specialist who provides teeth-straightening treatments.

Meet specialist orthodontist Dr. Jackie Bracken


Where your upper front teeth overlap your lower teeth excessively.


Where your upper front teeth project horizontally past your lower front teeth.

Panoramic radiograph

An X-ray that gives us a full view of your teeth and jaws.


A sticky film of bacteria that’s constantly forming on teeth and needs removing by brushing and flossing.


A fixed or removable appliance that’s used to hold your teeth in their new position after orthodontic treatment.

How to keep teeth straight

Supernumerary teeth

Extra teeth, for example, more than 32 permanent teeth or 20 baby teeth.

Temporary Anchorage Device (TAD)

A tiny screw that’s placed in the gum to provide extra anchorage to help us move specific teeth.

Learn more about TADS and braces

Braces behind your teeth


Clear dental wax, which can be used to stop your braces from rubbing the inside of your cheeks and lips.