Retainers After Braces
When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for life. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers after braces, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
The Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic, and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic framing keeps your teeth in perfect position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors and/or patterns.
The Spring Aligner Appliance requires little or no adjustment and minimal chair time, making it a fast and easy option for improving anterior rotations. Because it is a pre-adjusted appliance, no adjustment appointments are needed! Another feature that makes the Spring Aligner unique and desirable is the fact that it can also serve as a post-treatment retainer, saving you both time and money.
The Spring Aligner is created by constructing a model in which the anterior teeth are reset into the ideal position. The appliance is fabricated to match the model, and, because wire spring gives the appliance the flexibility to seat properly, adjustments are not generally required.
Slight discomfort may be experienced during the first week of wearing the Spring Aligner, but as the teeth move, the discomfort will subside.
Once tooth movement is complete, the appliance can then be used as a retainer. Once the retention phase has ended, the appliance can be used as a guide to check the teeth and assure that no relapse has occurred. If movement does occur after a patient completes his or her retention phase, a nighttime retainer will be recommended indefinitely.
The Schwartz Appliance is a removable expansion appliance primarily used on the lower arch in order to expand the arch and create needed additional space for the permanent teeth. Treatment time in the Schwartz Appliance is approximately 9 months, but will vary based on individual needs of the patient. If both the upper and lower arches require expansion, we may use the Schwartz along with a Rapid Palatal Expander in order to coordinate the expansion of both arches.
Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)
Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the Rapid Palatal Expander is an orthodontic device used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch.
When patients are still growing, their connective tissue between the left and right halves of their upper jaw is very responsive to expansion. By simply activating the expander through turning a screw in the center, with a special key we provide, gradual outward pressure is placed on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This pressure causes an increased amount of bone to grow between the right and left halves of the jaw, ultimately resulting in an increased width.
The Quad Helix is a fixed orthodontic appliance used for upper arch expansion. Bands are cemented to your back molars to keep the appliance in place while four helix springs help widen the arch. This appliance is ideal for patients with crowding in the upper arch or to correct a posterior crossbite.
It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen while wearing the Quad Helix. Patients should brush around and under the appliance and also floss and rinse thoroughly to remove any food particles.
Thumb Appliance (habit)
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, please talk to your dentist.
One solution to thumb sucking is an appliance called a “fixed palatal crib.” This appliance is put on the child’s upper teeth by an orthodontist. It’s placed behind on the upper teeth on the roof of the mouth. The crib consists of semicircular stainless steel wires that are fastened to molars using steel bands. The stainless steel wires fit behind the child’s upper front teeth, and they are barely visible. The crib usually stops the habit of thumb sucking within the first day of use.
The Twin Block functional appliance is designed to correct jaw positioning, so that the bite is properly aligned. It consists of an upper and lower plate, which work together to pull the lower jaw forward. While this appliance is suitable for patients of all ages, it is generally used during Phase 1 of orthodontic treatment, to treat children who have an underdeveloped jaw. To ensure treatment progresses as planned, the appliance should be worn at all times. It should only be removed for cleaning and during sport activities. Patients may experience temporary discomfort and difficulty speaking the first few days of wear. We will provide specific instructions for activating the screw. Patients should follow instructions carefully to ensure effective results are achieved within the least amount of time.
The Forsus appliance is used in order to help move the upper molars back while moving the lower arch forward. Composed of a spring coil rod, the appliance is used while a patient is currently wearing braces. It runs from the upper first molar band down to the lower archwire.
You may notice some discomfort initially, so we recommend a soft food diet for the first few days after the appliance is placed. Regular anti-inflammatory medication may help with any pain, if needed. It is important to keep the appliance clean; you may do this by carefully brushing the coil and other metal pieces of the appliance. Also, we recommend that patients not open their mouths very wide, as the appliance may come apart.
If your Forsus appliance breaks, please contact our office immediately to schedule a repair appointment.
Red, White and Blue Braces
It is similar to the Invisalign system in that a series of clear, customized aligners are designed for you. You will wear each appliance approximately 2-4 weeks in the easy-to-remember Red, White and Blue sequence. The final appliance is designed with all the corrections and can be worn as a long-term retainer.
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