The Herbst appliance helps line up your bottom and top jaws. It shifts the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This type of appliance is fixed into place and is usually used for younger patients to reduce the appearance of an overbite. This will drastically help the bite (how the top and bottom teeth fit together).
Elastics help exert pressure in a specific direction to help shift your teeth. Different-sized elastics signify varying forces of pressure. The pressure applied helps to shift teeth into place. It is important to wear elastics as prescribed by your orthodontist to apply the correct and intended amount of pressure.
Separators create space between the teeth and allow bands to fit over the teeth. It is normal for patients to experience soreness after a separator is placed. However, this should go away once patients begin to adjust. Separators are a very important step in getting braces because they create room for the braces, typically placed about a week or two later.
Retainers can either be removable or fixed in place. After completing your orthodontic treatment, they hold your teeth in place and prevent them from shifting. To properly use retainers, patients must wear them for the recommended time. Your orthodontist will instruct you on the best ways to care for your retainer and provide details regarding the length of retainer treatment. At Flower Mound Orthodontics, we currently offer Hawley retainers and Essix retainers.
Invisalign are clear, removable aligners that shift the teeth into proper alignment. The series of aligners are custom-made to fit perfectly against your teeth, causing little to no discomfort while also shifting your teeth. You periodically switch the aligners as teeth shift further into position. Depending on the severity of your misalignment, the amount of sets of aligners used may vary. This teeth-straightening method is the number one patient-requested clear aligner system in the United States.
It is comfortable, convenient, and virtually unnoticeable. This orthodontic treatment is ideal for teens and adults with minor to moderate orthodontic concerns. Invisalign aligners work quickly and discretely. For instance, Invisalign treatment can address malocclusion, overbite, underbite, gapped, and overcrowded teeth.
The palatal expander is a custom-made device to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth fit together. This is done by gently exerting pressure on your upper molars each time the palatal expander is adjusted. This pressure progressively shifts and expands the patient’s jaw.
Once the desired expansion is reached, you will wear the appliance for a few months to stabilize the expansion and prevent regression. An orthodontist may recommend an expander for patients with impacted teeth, overcrowding, or crossbite. Retainers used to stabilize treatment may be permanent or removable.
Orthodontic Appliances FAQs
Do you have further questions about orthodontic appliances? Continue reading to learn more and to find answers to frequently asked questions in our office.
How long does it take to make custom orthodontics?
It typically takes around a month to make custom orthodontic appliances. First, a mold is taken, shipped to a separate company where they make appliances, and then shipped back to the orthodontist. Typically, this process takes somewhere between 3 to 4 weeks.
Do custom orthodontics hurt or feel uncomfortable while wearing?
Any orthodontic appliances restructure the shape of one’s jaw and teeth. They apply pressure to the teeth to push them into an aligned position so patients will feel some pressure. This can sometimes be painful and sore for patients’ mouths and jaw. Many orthodontic appliances are removable, so when patients are experiencing excessive soreness and pain, they can remove them (with your orthodontist’s approval) to give their mouth a break.
At what age can orthodontic treatment begin?
Orthodontic treatment can begin at any age once adult teeth have erupted. However, the ideal time to begin orthodontic treatment is during childhood or adolescence when the jaw is still growing. Adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment. It is important to remember that it is never too late to pursue a straighter smile.
Can I eat normally with orthodontic appliances?
While some adjustments to your diet may be necessary, you can generally eat a regular diet with orthodontic appliances. However, it’s important to avoid sticky, hard, or chewy foods that can damage the appliances or get stuck in them. Dietary changes depend on the type of appliance.
Will orthodontic treatment affect my speech?
While adjusting may take some time, most people adapt quickly to speaking with orthodontic appliances. Any temporary changes in speech, such as lisping or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, usually improve within a few days or weeks. Orthodontic appliances may impact your speech initially. However, any speech difficulty should not last long.
How can I care for my teeth if I wear braces or a retainer?
When undergoing orthodontic treatment, patients should remember to be consistent with their oral health and very on top of it because orthodontic appliances cause oral health problems post-treatment. Some ways to keep up with your oral health is to remember to floss twice a day (or after every meal) and floss at least once a day, use fluoridated toothpaste, clean your appliance after you eat, avoid soda and candy, and keep up with your dental cleanings.
Visit Our Flower Mound, TX Orthodontics Practice
An orthodontic appliance is one of Dr. Sankey’s services to the public. When necessary, Dr. Sankey will recommend an orthodontic appliance to restore balance and health to your smile. When left untreated, dental problems can result in a more complex dental issue. It is important to note that some orthodontic appliances may cause minimal discomfort as patients adjust to their new devices.
Our team at Flower Mound Orthodontics makes every effort to ensure our patients receive treatment plans tailored to their needs. During your visit, Dr. Sankey will evaluate your teeth and jaw to determine which dental appliance is right for you.
Explore your oral appliance options with our team at Flower Mound Orthodontics. To schedule an appointment, call us at 972.833.8212 or request a dental exam online.