Separators – Separators are usually placed between the molars one week prior to fitting braces. The separators may cause slight discomfort for a few hours. They gently wedge the back teeth apart to make it easier to cement the back bands. Do not eat any sticky foods or remove the separators.

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) – Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is for patients whose upper jaw is narrow. Your Rapid Palatal Expander gently widens the upper arch (palate) by stretching the center palatal connective suture. Once widened, the suture knits together. The Rapid Palatal Expander is prescribed only prior to completion of growth. A Parent or the patient adjusts the Rapid Palatal Expander daily as instructed, until the palate has been widened enough.

Both Rapid Palatal Expander feels comfortable, the patient may sense some initial pressure and expect:

  • To feel a tingling or itch under the expander
  • To feel a tingling sensation across the bridge of the nose
  • To feel pressure in the cheek area

A special key is used to activate the Rapid Palatal Expander:

  • Insert the key into the key slot; the key will not touch the roof of the mouth
  • Push the key all the way from the front to back. Look for the next hole to rotate forward enough so you will be able to place the key into the next hole to turn your Rapid Palatal Expander
  • Turn as you have been instructed
  • Remove the key

Remember, when brushing:

  • Use a regular toothbrush
  • Brush as usual
  • Use a water rinse to flush under the expander
  • The use of a waterpik is helpful to dislodge food particles that can become caught in the expander.

Elastics – Elastics move the teeth in a direction that cannot be accomplished with braces alone.

Your teeth and jaws may be tender the first few days of wearing the elastics. This is normal and should begin to disappear with a week. If your soreness persists longer, please call our office. Rinsing with warm salt water will help take away the tenderness.

Attaching your elastics may seem hard initially. However, with a little time and patience, you will be able to accomplish your task easily.

Elastic wear must be constant to be effective – 24 hours a day – 7 days a week, unless otherwise indicated.

You may remove the elastics only when eating your meals or brushing your teeth. Leave them in during snacking. Be sure to replace the elastics immediately following mealtime and brushing. Part-time wear does NOT move teeth, but it does cause them to be constantly sore.

Change the elastics daily even if they are not broken. After a while, elastics lose their strength.

Carry extra elastics with you at all times. If you don’t have enough elastics to last until your next appointment, please stop by our office and pick up more or call us and we can send more to you. We don’t want you to run out.

Elastic wear is an important key to the speed of your treatment and the final results we can achieve.

Please call  us if you have any questions or concerns. Good luck with your elastics!

Headgear – Phase I – Treatment with Headgear

One of the ways we are going to move your jaw is through the use of an appliance called a headgear. It helps us move your teeth in a way that braces alone can’t. The headgear uses the back of the neck or the back of the head to move the teeth and help create a beautiful smile. Some common uses of the headgear are: to move the teeth back to create more space, to anchor molars during treatment, to bring the upper teeth and jaw backward or to lift and hold the upper front teeth on order to open a deep bite. Depending on the type of headgear you are wearing, it will either fit in tubes on the molar bands, attach to an expander appliance, or hook to the arch wire. Heargear is a removable appliance that is usually worn during ht evening and nighttime hours. The more you wear headgear the better it works.

Phase II – Treatment with Headgear

When braces are in place, headgear is used in many ways to redirect jaw growth:

  • To move the upper molars back to fit with the lower molars.
  • To hold the upper molars back while the upper front teeth are moved back into position.

When headgear is prescribed:

  • Patients do not need to wear their headgear to school, work or during active sports.
  • It must be worn at least 14 hours each day (unless otherwise instructed).
  • Consistent daily use is essential to achieve success in treatment.
  • Never allow the headgear to be damaged, do not roughhouse with headgear on.

When wearing headgear, expect:

  • To feel some pressure when the strap is attached to the face bow, and relief of the pressure when the strap is detached.
  • The molars to ache and be slightly loosened as tooth movement occurs.
  • A band to become loose. If this happens, please call our office for an appointment to have your band re-cemented.

At each appointment in our office:

  • Bring your headgear so we can check and adjust it.
  • We will measure the space the headgear is creating, and can tell from this measurement how well the headgear is being worn.

Remember – How well you wear your headgear determines how long you need to wear it.

Retention – Removing braces signals the start of the retention and observation period of your orthodontic care. Please remember that this part of your orthodontic treatment is just as important as the active movement phase in determining the ultimate success of your treatment. Once the teeth have been moved into their desired positions, a period of time is needed to stabilize the teeth so that the surrounding bone and soft tissue can son form the your new dental alignment. When braces are removed, it is a good time to review several important aspects of care.

Patients in the retention phase are seen periodically in our office during the first year after braces are removed. Patients will continue to see the Doctor until he feels they can be dismissed from treatment. It is then the patient’s responsibility to wear a retainer as prescribed. please call our office if you have any concerns regarding your retainer.

Typically, retainers are worn 12 hours daily for the first three months, thereafter while sleeping. A bonded retainer may be used on the inside of the lower front teeth and in some cases on the inside of the pup front teeth. This bonded retainer will be worn indefinitely as long as there are no problems with oral hygiene. If a decision to remove your bonded retainer is made, a removable retainer may be fabricated and will be worn while sleeping.

For lasting success from orthodontic treatment:

  • Wear your retainer as prescribed.
  • Don’t let your retainer get bent or otherwise damaged.
  • Call for a repair appointment if your retainer is damaged or loosened.
  • Keep your retainer clean. Effordent, Polydent or white vinager soaks may help remove deposits from the retainer.
  • Keep your retainer in its case when not being worn.
  • Be committed to maintaing your beautiful smile.

Thumb Crib – A Thumb Crib is used to help stop finger or thumb habits that move your teeth out of line. This appliance is a content reminder to help stop a certain habit.

When wearing a Thumb Crib you can expect some discomfort to your tongue. As you get used to your appliance, eating and speaking will become easier.

At each appointment in our office, we will check the Thumb Crib. We will also check the patient’s thumb or fingers for calluses.

Herbst Appliance – This appliance is usually attached using stainless steel crowns. Metal side bars and some front braces are often part of the appliance. Some appliances may have an expansion screw in the middle of the pallet to help widen the upper jaw.

Forsus – This devise is used for Dental Asymmetry Corrections she higher force is needed. this device allows the patient to open and move the jaw freely.