Types of Appliances
Separators or Spacers
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss.
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed, and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they're worn as prescribed.
Adjusting the palatal expander - Printable PDF Document
The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.
Sometimes primary teeth are lost before adult teeth are ready to erupt. Space maintainers allow the space for the adult tooth to be held while the rest of their dentition develops. These appliances also prevent the molars from drifting forward and creating a more significant problem when it comes time to actually start the process of braces. Space maintainers come in a variety of styles that can be created to use in either arch. The space maintainers for the upper arch have an acrylic button that rests behind the front teeth which is used for comfort. The lower space maintainers rest comfortably behind the anterior teeth.
Thumb cribs are appliances that are used to discourage thumb-sucking habits. While they are not placed often, they are effective when a child’s habit persists. Thumb-sucking habits create an open bite (when the front teeth do not touch) and protrusion of their upper front teeth. The appliance is placed on the upper arch with the loops to not allow the child’s hand to enter their mouth at any given time. This appliance is used as a reminder to the patient that their habit cannot continue. Checks are given periodically to monitor the habit and once it has diminished the appliance will be removed.
The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device is an alternative to elastics which promotes growth in adolescents, helping to eliminate excessive overbites, improve the fit of teeth, and possibly prevent the need for jaw surgery.
Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. We will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.