When it comes to orthodontics, most people immediately think of a mouthful of metal braces. However, orthodontists have many other tools in their belt to help them create beautiful, healthy smiles. We break down some of these below.
Elastics, or rubber bands, link the top and bottoms jaws together using small hooks that are connected to your braces. They work to improve your bite and align the fit of your top and bottom teeth. Rubber bands must be worn as prescribed by your orthodontist in order to be most effective.
The purpose of headgear is to correct the problem of severe overbite in growing patients. Headgear has an orthopedic effect and works by gently putting pressure on the top molars, which restricts additional forward growth of the upper teeth and jaw.
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The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device and similar devices are appliances that may be used as an alternative to headgear to correct excessive overbites. Like headgear, the Forsus is effective in growing children and adolescents, and may be helpful to avoid the need for future jaw surgery in severe cases.
A palatal expander is used for crossbites and works to widen the upper jaw by putting a slight pressure on the upper molars after each adjustment. Adjustments are made by turning a screw in the appliance, and the number of turns is dependent on the amount of expansion needed. After desired palatal width is obtained, the expander is typically kept in place for 6 months in order to prevent any relapse as the palatal bone solidifies following the expansion.
Retainers are used to hold, or “retain” teeth in their corrected position following active orthodontic treatment. They may either be fixed or removable, as depending on the best course of action for your case. Additionally, retainers may be used to achieve minor tooth movements in lieu of braces if orthodontic needs are minor in nature.
If you have any questions about your orthodontic needs or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rothman, give our office a call, today! Not only are we the Pinecrest local orthodontic office, but we also proudly serve the communities of Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Kendall, and South Miami. We look forward to crafting your perfect smile!