Orthodontic appliances can be an effective treatment component during all phases of orthodontic treatment. These appliances may be used to prevent an orthodontic problem from occurring, to correct a current orthodontic problem, or to help manipulate jawbone growth.
Examples of orthodontic appliances include Palatal Expander Devices (PED), separators, space maintenance, elastics, and retainers.
If orthodontic appliances will be part of your treatment, your doctor will review your options and will provide specific instructions on the wear and care of your oral appliances.
Space maintainers are used to keep teeth from drifting into an empty tooth space due to early loss of primary (baby) teeth. Baby teeth act as a guide for the eruption of the permanent teeth. A space maintainer is made of stainless steel and/or plastic. It can be removable or fixed to the teeth.
Palatal Expander Device (PED)
Used to widen or expand the upper jaw, a palatal expander can be used to address crowding and other orthodontic issues by creating more room to accommodate tooth and/or jaw alignment. Expanding the upper jaw also effects the floor of the nasal cavity, helping to increase air flow and making breathing easier.
Separators are small rubber rings that are placed between your back molars to open space between molars to allow a band to be placed on a molar.
Elastics are commonly used to correct a bite discrepancy: ie. fix your overbite or under-bite. Elastics are a small rubber band that hooks from the top teeth to the bottom teeth. Elastics are to be worn 24 hrs. a day 7 days a week unless otherwise instructed. Failure to wear elastics as instructed can delay treatment.
Once orthodontic treatment is complete, you will wear retainers for a certain period of time to help maintain your straight smile!