WHAT’S THE FIRST THING you think of when you hear the word orthodontics? You probably picture metal wires and brackets with colorful elastics, right? But how familiar are you with some of the other orthodontic appliances available? There are quite a few of them, and they all play important roles in building healthy, properly aligned smiles. For now, we’ll just take a look at some of the most common ones.
For severe cases of overbite, underbite, or crowding, headgear may be needed. Often, the patient will not need to wear the headgear 24 hours a day, but it is crucial to wear it exactly as directed by the orthodontist in order to get good results. The greatest advantage of headgear is that, for many patients, it makes jaw surgery unnecessary.
Sometimes the upper jaw develops too narrow, leaving the upper teeth crowded, making it harder to breathe through the nose, and often creating a crossbite with the bottom teeth. A palatal expander gently and gradually widens the upper arch to correct these problems. Crowding of the bottom teeth can also be corrected with an expander, but it works differently. Instead of widening the jaw, a lower expander pushes the teeth into an upright position (if they are tipped inward) or flares them slightly to create more room.
If you need a reminder of how to activate your palatal expander, watch this video:
Space Maintainers And Holding Arches
When a child loses a tooth that wasn’t ready to come out on its own due to an injury or tooth decay, a space maintainer can keep the gap open so the adult tooth will have room to come in. Maintainers can be cemented in place or removable. When a child loses multiple teeth too early, it may be necessary to use a holding arch, which will keep enough space between the front teeth and the molars for new teeth to grow in.
Your Treatment Is Tailor-Made For You
No two orthodontic patients are the same, which means that no two treatment plans are the same. When you come to our practice, we will develop a treatment plan to give you the best result in the most effective timeline, and we will use the appliances that will do the most for your smile. If you haven’t already scheduled your initial consultation, give us a call or drop by today!
Our patients have the most beautiful smiles!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Top image by Flickr user Ryan Dickey used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from the original.