Types of Appliances
Metal brackets are the most commonly used braces. They are made of stainless steel and/or titanium and are bonded directly to the teeth. Metal brackets are durable and reliable. Most patients have the option of adding colored elastics over the brackets, which can be changed at each appointment, to add color and style.
Clear or ceramic brackets offer most of the same benefits of metal brackets, but are made of materials that are less visible. Ceramic brackets are a popular option for adults and teenagers that wish to minimize the appearance of braces.
This appliance is used to eliminate habits such as finger and thumb sucking as well tongue thrusts. It is attached to the upper molars and extends on the roof of the mouth to just behind the upper front teeth. A “crib” is worn until the habit is eliminated (usually less than 6 months).
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed because the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they are worn as prescribed.
A “Facemask” or reverse headgear helps to correct underbites in a growing child. Bands are fit on the upper molars and a removable headgear is worn at night to encourage growth of the upper jaw and discourage growth of the lower jaw.
The FORSUS appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower teeth forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 9-12 months.
Headgear improves the relationship of the upper jaw to the lower jaw in growing children. This is beneficial in cases where an overbite is due to a smaller lower jaw. Bands are fit on the upper molars and a removable Headgear is worn at night to hold the upper jaw steady, while the lower jaw grows out under it.
The palatal expander “expands” (widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. Baldwin will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.
Separators (or Spacers)
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods or with toothpicks and floss.