Types of Appliances
Sometimes while undergoing orthodontic treatment, braces alone will not get us to the finish line for that perfect smile. Rubber bands, headgear and Forsus Modules to name a few, are necessary adjuncts to the wires we place. These devices are most commonly used for bite correction rather than tooth alignment. If Dr. Reese asks you to wear one of these devices, it is because he wants the very best outcome for your treatment. Here's some information to help explain how these work.
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.
Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth have overjet, 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 Herbst® appliance reduces overjet by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.
The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. Reese 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.
Sometimes Dr. Reese can transition from traditional braces to suresmile aligners to complete the final tooth movements or in situations where braces need to be taken off early.
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.