Separators or Spacers
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that are 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. Please avoid sticky foods when the spacers are placed in your mouth.
The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. Varghese 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.
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 Herbst® appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for growing children and is worn for about 12-14 months.
The Nance holding arch is used on the upper arch to maintain the position of the first molars as the baby teeth are lost. The lingual holding arch maintains space and keeps the lower first molars from moving forward. Both space maintainers remain in place until the permanent teeth erupt.
Retainers may be fixed (bonded) or removable (clear, Hawley). The type of retainer recommended is determined by the stage of your orthodontic treatment. The retainers hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Dr. Varghese will instruct you on how to care for your retainer (please refer to retainer care) and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial in preventing relapse.
Spring Retainer or Biteblock
The lower active spring retainer is used to correct mild rotations on teeth. It needs to be worn full time to achieve the desired result. The lower Hawley with biteblock is a removable retainer used to prevent the lower incisors from knocking off the upper front braces when correcting an anterior crossbite.
Reverse Pull Headgear
Reverse pull headgear is used to correct an underbite resulting from deficient upper jaw growth. Typically, it is used in conjunction with an expander. The concept behind this appliance is to use the flexibility of the sutures of the upper jaw and pull it forward, thus reducing or decreasing the underbite. Typically, they are worn 12-14 hrs a day (after dinner and sleep time).