Types of Appliances
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed, and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they're worn as prescribed.
The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device is an alternative to headgear which promotes growth in adolescents, helping to eliminate excessive overbites, improve the fit of teeth, and possibly prevent the need for jaw surgery.
Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an overbite, with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw, or an underbite with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw. Headgear gently "pulls" on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.
The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist 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.
Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.
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, toothpicks, or floss.
MARA stands for Mandibular Anterior Repositioning Appliance. It is a non-removable appliance that encourages the growth of the lower jaw to help correct severe overbites and minimize the need for extractions or orthognathic surgery.
The MARA appliance is anchored to the molars with crowns, modified crowns, or bands. The lower attachments are fixed to the molars. The upper attachments are removable to enable your orthodontist to make adjustments according to your treatment plan.
A lingual arch is banded around the molars. It keeps the molars from migrating forward and prevents them from blocking off space of teeth that develop later. It is used when early loss of baby teeth or when lower teeth are slightly crowded. A lower lingual arch is a space maintainer for the lower teeth. It maintains the molars where they are.
Trans Palatal Arch (TPA)
The Trans-Palatal Arch is used to hold upper molars in place, stabilizing the position of these teeth during or after the movement of other teeth. The TPA can also be used to rotate molars into more ideal positions to improve the bite and to help the molars move as a unit when working together with TADs.