Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Elastics are a vital part of treatment and are also contingent upon patient compliance. They add extra pressure to the braces to help move the teeth and improve your bite. Generally worn at all times (excluding eating and brushing your teeth), elastics should be changed at least once a day. It is important to wear them consistently or treatment setbacks may occur.
The expander is an orthodontic device used to create a wider space in the upper or lower jaw. It is typically used when the jaws is are too narrow or when teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch. Expanders may be cemented in place or removable.
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 ultimately resulting in an increased width.
Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)
Made of a bio-compatible titanium alloy, TADs are mini screw anchors which are inserted into specific places in the mouth to be used as a fixed point from which teeth can move. TADs are easy to insert and remove, often requiring only a few minutes. TADs are used in vast minority of orthodontic treatment, and only when necessary.
We use soft tissue lasers in our practice for a variety of procedures. The lasers are narrow beams of light energy that can penetrate the tissue, producing the ability to, remove or shape soft tissues such as the gums, cheeks and tongue. This can be especially helpful in orthodontics when there are teeth that have yet to erupt from the gums that need to be moved to progress treatment. With these soft tissue lasers, we can quickly remove the gum tissue around the tooth so that it can move into proper position or reshape the gum tissue to improve smile esthetics.
Another benefit of orthodontic treatment is not so obvious: improved jaw function. If your child has an overbite, simple treatment with braces will not correct the problem. The Herbst appliance, usually in conjunction with braces, is used to help the lower jaw develop in a forward direction.
A Herbst appliance is fixed to your child's molars. It includes a metal tube that connects the upper and lower jaw. By adjusting the tube, your orthodontist is able to control the jaw's position in relation to the upper teeth. The Herbst appliance is often left in place for approximately 12 months, though this may vary depending on your child's unique needs. You may notice some discomfort initially, so we recommend a soft food diet for the first few days after the appliance is placed.
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.
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.