The success of any orthodontic treatment depends on the orthodontist’s skill and patient compliance. Patients must wear their appliances as instructed to ensure the teeth and jaws move into proper alignment. Appliance is the word used to describe braces and other devices used to move the teeth into their desired positions. Anything new that is attached or placed in your mouth can take getting used to, but the benefits far outweigh any initial discomfort. Orthodontic appliances apply a gentle force which can cause some initial discomfort but remember, this means the teeth are moving into place. Plus, the benefits of the appliances far outweigh any tenderness.
Dr. David Markham is a board-certified orthodontist, skilled at creating beautiful smiles and happy patients, in the Sacramento, CA area. The Markham Orthodontics team provides superior orthodontic treatment and top-notch customer service to patients of all ages. Call us today for an orthodontic consultation by calling 916-924-8970 or visit us online.
Types of Orthodontic Appliances
The type of appliance prescribed to you will depend on your specific orthodontic needs and treatment goals. Several types of appliances are used for the duration of your treatment and are either fixed or removable.
Appliances used in orthodontics may include:
- TADs – Temporary anchorage devices are tiny screws used to provide a temporary yet fixed point from which to apply the force needed to move the teeth. It allows for predictable tooth control.
- Rubber Bands – The orthodontist may refer to these as elastics. Rubber bands attach to the brackets to apply enough gentle force to move the teeth and jaws. A wide range of colors are available, allowing patients to pick their favorite color, school color, or celebrate the holidays with different colors.
- Chain Elastics – These are used to close spaces between the teeth.
- Headgear – If a patient is prescribed headgear, it will attach to the braces from the back of the head. It is easy to remove, most often worn at bedtime, and used to apply the extra force to move the teeth and jaws.
- Retainers – When braces are removed, a retainer is used to keep the teeth in place. This appliance will ensure your teeth remain in their proper position until they’ve had time to settle into place. Some retainers are removable while others are bonded behind the teeth in a fixed position. Retainers can be customized with different colors, photos, and designs based on the patient’s preference.
- Herbst Appliance – This fixed appliance reduces overbite in patients by slowly moving the jaw forward and the upper molars backward. It is most often used by younger patients who are still growing.
- Palatal Expander – The appliance “expands” or widens the upper jaw by putting pressure on the upper molars every time the orthodontist makes an adjustment. Once the desired expansion is achieved, the appliance will remain in place for a few months.
- Positioners – This appliance is used to complete the last few tooth movements needed to complete the orthodontic treatment.
- Separators or Spacers – These are tiny rubber doughnuts that are inserted between your teeth to gently and slowly push them apart.
- Clear Aligners – Aligners can be an alternative to traditional clear or metal braces. They are custom made to fit over your teeth and are used to move the teeth to the correct position. Clear aligners are made of comfortable and smooth plastic and are nearly invisible.
- Mouth Guard – A mouth guard protects your teeth from injury during sports or other vigorous athletic activities.
- Night Guard – A night guard is needed to prevent and stop patients from grinding or clenching their teeth.
- Bite Plate – This is a small appliance made from an acrylic material with metal clasps. These clip onto the inside of the top teeth. It is used before orthodontic treatment begins to correct a deep bite and prevents the back teeth from touching.
- Habit Breaker Thumb Appliance – It is used to deter thumb sucking habits and poor tongue posture.
If you are considering orthodontic treatment, check out our patient video gallery to see what other patients have to say about their Markham Orthodontic experience. Then call our office at 916-924-8970 for a complimentary evaluation or reach out to us online.