Orthodontic Treatment Options
With the advancements in orthodontic technology today, braces are smaller and more comfortable than ever before. Our office uses the latest, state-of-the-art appliances. While each of the orthodontic treatments work in a similar fashion – by using strategically controlled force to move the teeth into proper alignment – there are different benefits to each.
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of treatment our patients use. It has evolved from the big uncomfortable metal brackets to smaller brackets that are stainless steel. They are definitely more attractive and still customizable with different color bands.
Clear braces consist of brackets that are made of a translucent material that blends with the natural color of your teeth. These braces function the same way metal braces do with the archwire, but is almost invisible to the naked eye. This has become very popular amongst our adult patients.
Invisalign® & Invisalign® Teen
Invisalign is the perfect treatment for any age. It is a series of clear aligners that are custom made to your specific orthodontic needs. Each aligner is worn for two weeks and then is replaced with the next aligner in the series. Because the aligners are made from a smooth plastic, Invisalign is essentially invisible to others.
Parts of Braces
Bands are constructed from metal and cemented to your molars or pre-molars. Since brackets, tubes, or hooks can be welded to these bands, they function as an anchoring mechanism that allows your orthodontist to move your mouth and teeth in whatever direction is needed. Bands are chosen from a variety of sizes to ensure the tightest fit.
Brackets are small metal or ceramic components bonded individually to each tooth. The archwire fits into slots on each bracket, which allows the archwire to apply the necessary pressure to move your teeth.
Constructed from stainless steel, the archwire is what applies the actual pressure that moves your teeth. It is specifically shaped to pull or push on the correct areas to create the ideal tooth positions, and is constructed to fit into each bracket.
An elastic is a tiny rubber ring that ties the archwire into the bracket.
Hooks function to attach elastics and hold them in place on each bracket.
These springs are made from stainless steel and meant to be placed over the archwire between brackets. They function to “push” apart crowded teeth, or “pull” together teeth that are too far apart.
Palatal Expansion Appliance
A palatal expander (also called a Rapid Palatal Expander – RPE) is a non-removable orthodontic appliance that is used to widen the upper arch and to obtain room for permanent teeth to erupt.
There is generally very little tooth discomfort for the patient; however there is a short adjustment period. During this adjustment period, the patient may have extra saliva in the mouth and may lisp slightly until the tongue becomes used to the appliance. Chewing may be difficult the first few days because the appliance covers the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Cut food up into bite size pieces and stay away from sticky and hard foods such as candies and pretzels.
A few patients may experience a small sore on the tongue from the bar of the expander. If this happens, rinse the mouth with warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide mixed half and half with water, a few times a day until the sore heals. If the tongue becomes swollen or does not heal within a week, please call the office for an appointment.
Depending on the patient's tolerance and adaptability level, the adjustment period lasts from 2-5 days. To obtain the expansion needed, the palatal expander will need to be activated or turned a number of times before your next visit. The doctor will prescribe the exact number of times the expander will need to be turned.
IMPORTANT! Please only turn the expander once a day! If you miss a day, do not try and make up an extra turn the next day.
Step 4: Remove the key by gently pushing the key towards the back of the mouth.
Other Orthodontic Appliances
In more severe cases, additional orthodontic gear maybe recommended. It is important to bring your child in for an examination during this age, just to make sure to identify any problems as soon as possible. Remember, examination doesn’t always lead to immediate treatment. Dr. Shawn and Dr. Candice will be able to recommend the course of action that right for you or your child at your complimentary consultation.