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Orthodontic Appliances

Orthodontic appliances are necessary when braces alone are not adequate to fully correct your orthodontic problem.  It takes a few days to get used to the appliance.  Initially there will be some lisping but within a week your speech will be back to normal.  Pain is rarely experienced, but you may feel the initial pressure on your teeth and your cheeks.  Sometimes patients may experience a slight headache.  You can take over the counter medication to alleviate the discomfort.  As with any orthodontic appliance, remember to stay away from hard, sticky foods that can break and pull apart your appliance.  Be sure to brush all parts of your appliance, as well as your teeth.

Habit Appliance
An appliance used to help you stop a harmful habit such as thumb sucking, finger sucking or tongue thrusting.

Bite Plate

The bite plate is designed to correct a deep bite (when the upper front teeth come down too far over the lower front teeth).

Initially, there may be an adjustment period and speech may be affected for a short period of time. When wearing your bite pate, it is normal if your back teeth do not meet all the way. It may take a few weeks to completely adjust to your new bite plate.

For optimal results, the bite plate should be worn 24 hours a day and only removed for eating and brushing. As with any orthodontic appliance, you should brush all parts of your bite plate as well as your teeth. Depending on the amount of correction needed, the bite plate may be worn for 3 to 6 months. Make sure to bring it to every appointment so the orthodontist can adjust it to your bite.

Night Brace (Headgear)

The headgear is designed to create space for erupting teeth.

The headgear should be worn a minimum of 12 to 14 hours as directed. It should be worn each night while asleep, plus enough daytime hours in order to reach the required amount.

If you wear the headgear more than the minimum amount, treatment will progress much faster and the braces can come off sooner!

Make sure you know how to put on and remove your headgear. A mirror may be necessary at first, but soon, with practice, little effort will be required.

Certain teeth may occasionally become sore. This is a sure sign of movement, so do not let this discourage you. Continue wearing your headgear and the soreness will lessen as the teeth become used to the pressure.

Ten minute "rest periods" can be helpful when you are first getting used to your headgear. The initial discomfort will diminish as you become accustomed to wearing it.

The headgear should not be worn during outside activities or active sports. Remember, wear the headgear just during quiet time and sleeping hours.

Circumstances might prevent you from reaching your required daily total, but try your best. Make up “short days”  by wearing it longer on “good days”.

Remember that omitting even one day can cancel the progress from three “good days”.

Palatal Expander
The palatal expander is an appliance designed to widen your upper jaw by gently separating the bones of the palate. It works best in teenagers younger than 15 years old, because below this age, the bones of the upper jaw are still pliable.  The palatal expander consists of a screw that is attached to the teeth by means of bands that go around your teeth.

The expander is a fixed appliance that will remain in the mouth for a certain amount of time, or until the orthodontist has the correct amount of space to continue treatment.  The expander is activated by turning the screw with a key, as instructed by your orthodontist.  As the upper jaw is widened, a space may develop between the front teeth.  This space will generally close by itself within a month.  Once expansion is completed, the expander will remain in the mouth for approximately three months to stabilize your teeth before being removed. 

Until you get used to eating with your expansion appliance, eat plenty of soft foods.  Pain is rarely experienced, but you may feel the initial pressure on your teeth, in the middle of your palate, and your cheeks.  Take over the counter pain medication to alleviate any discomfort. 

Mouth Guard
A removable plastic piece that fits over the teeth. It protects the teeth and inside of the mouth when playing sports.  This can be purchased over the counter at any sports stores.  Follow the instructions for use.




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