Orthodontic appliances have a variety of uses. They’re effective for facilitating more efficient tooth movement, holding space in the mouth for permanent teeth to grow, and/or helping to support proper growth and development of the jaw bones.
Palatal expanders are a common appliance used in early orthodontic treatment for children whose jaw bones are still developing. These appliances serve to widen the upper jaw to create the necessary space for teeth to erupt in a healthy alignment. Palatal expanders can help prevent crowding and impaction by guiding proper development of the jaw bone.
The rapid palatal expander (the most common type of palatal expander) is bonded to the upper molars on both sides of the top jaw, with a screw located in the center of the appliance. To activate the palatal expander, you’ll insert a special key to turn the center screw, which expands the device ever so slightly and widens the palate gradually over time.
If your child requires a palatal expander, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cleaning it, activating it and caring for it!
Spacers, also called separators, are small rubber bands that help to create the space necessary for braces to be placed. With braces, a metal band is placed around the back molars to anchor the arch wires in place. In cases where the molars are too close together to allow these metal bands to be placed, separators may be used.
Separators are temporary appliances that are only worn for about one to two weeks before active treatment begins.
The Nance appliance is used to hold the upper molars in place, to prevent them from rotating or shifting forward. With this appliance, two metal bands are cemented around the first molars and a wire connects the back molars to an acrylic pad, located behind the two front teeth.
The reverse-pull headgear (facemask) is an incredibly effective appliance used to promote proper alignment of the jaw bones for young kids. It works by pulling the upper jaw forward. This appliance treats underbite conditions that may otherwise require jaw surgery to correct. This appliance can be incredibly helpful for young patients, ages 7-10.
The lower lingual holding arch is a space maintainer that uses metal bands around the two lower molars, with a metal wire spanning from the molars, around the inside of the bottom teeth. Used to hold the necessary space in the mouth for premolars to grow, the lower lingual arch appliance establishes the proper foundation that shapes the lower arch in a healthy alignment.
The Pendulum Appliance and Distal Jet is hidden in the roof of the mouth and used to shift the molar teeth to create the necessary room for other teeth to erupt in alignment. This appliance treats crowding and various bite misalignments by using metal bands around the back molars, wires bonded to the middle teeth, and an acrylic plate that rests behind the front teeth.
We’re here to answer your questions, and we want you to know your options! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.