Types of Appliances

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Elastics

Rubber bands can be uncomfortable for many patients at first because they pull teeth in a certain direction, but they should become easier to manage as the process carries on. Rubber bands can be an effective tool for orthodontists in shifting the teeth in a certain direction while aided by metal braces.

Reverse Head Gear

The headgear device is mainly used to treat patients suffering from an under-bite. Headgear gently pulls on your upper teeth and jaw to bring it forward and correct the bite. Reverse headgear can be used with other appliances such as an expander or metal braces. This is usually reserved for more serious cases of misalignment and is only temporary.

Distal Jet

This device helps to slowly move the upper 6 molars backwards over time to create space for the front teeth. This leaves room for the front permanent teeth to set properly using a small expander-like device that is expanded manually by your dentist. Speech and swallowing may be disrupted at first, but patients often get used to their distal jet, allowing normal function.

Rapid Palatal Expander

This device is used for expanding the upper palate by pushing the upper molars away from each other, providing more room for wider front teeth. This is a commonly used device that is expanded by your dentist every few months. The expander may get in the way of eating and speaking at first, but many patients become accustomed to it and how to keep it clean.

Class 2 Carriere Appliance

The Carriere device combines a metal support with tension from elastics to move teeth without removing them if they have erupted incorrectly. This saves the patient from having oral surgery to extract teeth and is temporarily fitted and tightened by your dentist. The effects of the Carriere device are similar to headgear, but without the bulky appearance.

Retainers

Retainers are used to keep teeth from shifting after they have been moved into the correct position. Retainers can be used for months after braces are applied and will prevent teeth from returning to their previous positions. They are made of acrylic with a metal frame, and are removable for eating and speaking. Retainers are most effective when worn regularly.

Spacers

These are commonly used for children and teens that need more space between teeth as a result of overcrowding. Spacers are tiny rubber disks that are inserted in between teeth, gently pushing them apart to make space over time. Spacers occasionally fall out, but they are not a problem and can be easily replaced.

Holding Arches

These anchors act like retainers in that they prevent the teeth from moving any further after they have been placed in the correct position. The holding arch is a metal bar that extends between the upper molars, holding them in place to prevent the palate from shrinking. Arches are semi-permanent and are placed by your dentist.

Bite Plate

A bite plate is a small acrylic device that snaps into place in the front lower teeth, and prevents the jaw from closing too much, causing the teeth to bite too far inward. The plate keeps the bite at the appropriate depth and corrects the issue over time. Bite plates can be uncomfortable at first, but as the issue corrects itself it will feel normal again after some time.

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