There are many instruments that orthodontists use in creating a beautiful smile, and a common question we hear is “what does that do?” 

One of the reasons why Castilla Orthodontics is a patients’ top choice in Salem, Oregon is that we are committed to patient education when it comes to orthodontic procedures. We understand that you’re in our office because you’ve made the choice for a healthy, bright smile, and we want to support you on that journey.

What sorts of instruments do we use at Castilla Ortho? This short list will give you an idea of what our team uses to shape your best smile.


Orthodontists use X-rays (also known as radiographs) to examine your jaws and teeth. It shows erupted as well as unerupted teeth and assists in identifying bite problems. Imaging is critical in creating an orthodontic treatment plan that is unique to you and your mouth. 

The Bite Stick

For orthodontic patients getting bands (stainless steel rings), we use a bite stick to help move the bands into place. The stick has a small pad attached to one end and the pad is placed at the edge of the band.  The patient bites gently onto the stick which causes the band to slide into the perfect position.

Curing light

The curing light is used to “cure,” or harden the adhesive that attaches the braces to your teeth. It is a cordless wand which emits a bright blue light aimed directly on each bracket.

Light curing is a fast and secure way to adhere your braces into position and begin tooth movement.

Distal End Cutter

After placing the archwire, a small amount of wire may extend past the last brace.  The distal end cutter is used to clip the excess wire.  This instrument also holds the cut wire so it can be easily removed, leaving the patient with a comfortable and smooth archwire.


The scaler is used at almost every appointment.  It is a metal, non-hinged, straight instrument approximately the length and size of a pencil.  It is used to remove the small o-rings that hold the archwire onto the braces. It has a curved tip that is also used to remove excess adhesive from around the bracket during placement and before light curing.

All of the instruments play an important part in providing patients with their best smile!   

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please bring your questions to your next orthodontic appointment, or call to schedule a free consultation with Dr Castilla, your orthodontist in Salem Oregon!

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