Make Your Braces Work Faster and Better with Orthodontic Appliances
Orthodontic appliances are an essential part of orthodontic treatment. There are different devices, tools, and gadgets for every alignment issue. Some appliances are used to help prep the teeth and mouth for braces, some straighten teeth alone, and others work in tandem with braces. The goal for every bit of orthodontic treatment, however, remains the same: straight teeth.
Common Orthodontic Appliances
At Soleil Orthodontics, we use a variety of orthodontic appliances in addition to your braces or Invisalign. These appliances help straighten teeth, enhance jaw growth, and create facial balance during development. Some appliances are used as interceptive orthodontics, measures that are begun in childhood to prepare the mouth for braces as an adolescent.
No one wants more gear in their mouth than necessary, but every orthodontic effort is for the good of the final product. We try to minimize overall treatment time and improve results by utilizing efficient appliances. If you follow your orthodontist’s rules and recommendations carefully, great teeth and a beautiful smile will follow.
You may encounter the following appliances during your treatment at Soleil Orthodontics:
The Carriere Distalizer appliance is typically used before braces or Invisalign for up to six months. The goal is to correct the bite before the teeth are straightened, which means a shorter treatment time overall. The Carriere Distalizer pushes the upper teeth to the right position and serves its purpose in the appliance library as a subtle version of headgear.
Also known as rubber bands, elastics help control the fit of your bite while braces take care of the straightening of your teeth. Since elastics come in a rainbow of colors, this variety is often the element of orthodontics that convinces teens and tweens that braces can be cool.
A palatal expander is used to widen your upper jaw, create room for crowded teeth, improve your airway and breathing, and help your back teeth fit together. In other words, expanders are important.
If a patient’s palate is narrow – a condition that can be caused by thumbsucking, genetics, an airway problem, or tongue posture – an upper palatal expander helps the upper jaw grow to the appropriate width. Permanent teeth have more room to erupt, crowding is minimized, and a wider smile is created so upper and lower teeth match together.
Headgear is every orthodontic patient’s worst nightmare. Thankfully, modern orthodontics have made the wearing of headgear almost obsolete. If you do need to wear headgear to help the progress of your orthodontic treatment, it will be in the privacy of your own home.
The Herbst appliance is an effective tool that is used in patients who are still growing to encourage the development of the lower jaw so it moves into proper alignment with the upper jaw. This appliance is compact and fits discreetly inside the cheeks. In many cases, the Herbst appliance is used in conjunction with braces for optimal results.
Though it can take up to year for the jaw to grow and develop properly while wearing the Herbst appliance, the gear instantly positions the lower jaw forward when it is put in place, a welcome and motivating side effect.
If you wear braces and you play sports, you’ll need to protect those pearly whites and all the gear on them. A customized mouth guard helps prevent injuries to your teeth, jaw, tongue, brackets, and wires.
You may not want a retainer, but you know you need it. Every orthodontic patient is fit with a custom-made retainer when their braces have been removed (or their Invisalign treatment is complete). Your teeth have moved into alignment, but now you need to help them stay there and a retainer does that important job. Around-the-clock retainer wear may be recommended at the start, and eventually your retainer will only need to be worn while you sleep.
Learn More About Orthodontic Appliances from Soleil Orthodontics
Appliances play a major role in orthodontic treatment, helping braces-wearers stay in compliance with the consistent work that needs to be done to straighten their teeth. The boost that orthodontic patients get from appliances also improves aesthetics and can shorten overall treatment time.
All appliances from Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, Washington are carefully selected and custom-fit to provide the biggest benefit for your alignment efforts, whether you wear conventional braces or Invisalign. Learn more about what your braces will look like and the appliances you will need to use. Contact Dr. Soleil Roberts to schedule your or your teen’s evaluation.