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A long metal bow which is used in conjunction with extraoral traction anchored on the back of the head or neck. The metal bow inserts intraorally into an orthodontic appliance and is generally used to distalise teeth or bones or prevent their forward movement.

Fixed appliance

An orthodontic appliance whose attachments are bonded or cemented to the teeth and cannot be removed by the patient. Generally termed ‘braces’ by the lay public.


A resistance to the relative displacement of contacting bodies in a direction tangent to the plane of contact.

Functional appliance

A term used to describe to a class of appliances which utilize the muscle action of the patient to produce orthodontic or orthopedic forces.