Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Elastics, or rubber bands, are commonly used to fix a misaligned bite so that your upper and lower teeth fit together better. For maximum results, you must wear the elastics as the doctor prescribes them. Typically, fixing a misaligned bite is the longest and most difficult part of the braces process, so wearing these elastics is important for the overall success of your corrective treatment.
When you have an overbite, it’s essential that you take action with corrective treatment to not suffer from jaw pain down the road. We are proud to offer Forsus, a discreet alternative to headgear that works with your braces to correct your bite and improve your oral health. This system allows you a greater range of motion, and instead of taking your headgear on and off, Forsus is a permanent fixture that constantly works throughout your treatment.
Your smile may need a little help before it’s ready for braces, and that’s why we use spacers to create space between certain teeth. With traditional braces, we anchor the stainless-steel wire to a metal band placed on the back teeth. These teeth are naturally close together, so the spacers help create a gap so we can install these metal bands at the following appointment. This appliance looks like a small rubber donut and is typically put in place about a week before you begin braces treatment.
There are two types of retainers: removable and fixed. Retainers are designed to maintain your results after you complete treatment, so your teeth are set correctly in their new positions. Your teeth will still be susceptible to shifting once you complete treatment, so it’s essential that you consistently wear your retainers, so you don’t run the risk of erasing your results. You have invested time and money into getting the smile of your dreams, and we don’t want there to be any regression in your progress. When you get your braces off, our doctor will give you insight on when to wear your retainers and how to best take care of them. Keeping up with this appliance will ensure that you get to keep your amazing new smile for a lifetime.
A palatal expander is typically reserved for patients who have a posterior crossbite. This appliance is cemented on your upper teeth and uses a screw in the middle to slowly widen the device and gradually correct your crossbite. Patients will need to crank the palatal expander for at least two to four weeks, but they will need to wear it for six to nine weeks for the results to last. Typically, we will put on braces during this time to ensure all of their orthodontic needs are being corrected during the same timeline.
A Herbst appliance is cemented to a patient’s mouth and connects their upper and lower parts with a forward positioning arm. This appliance is meant to help growing patients with recessive lower jaw and a significant overbite by promoting forward growth of the lower jaw. A patient typically wears this appliance for about nine months while their jaw is being gently pulled forward. With the Herbst appliance, growth is encouraged at the place where the jaw connects to the skull, also known as the condyle of the lower jaw. By the time the appliance is removed, a patient’s bite should be fully corrected. We will typically install this device along with braces.
Temporary anchorage devices, or TADs, are used to help a patient’s teeth shift faster with efficiency and comfort. Typically, we use teeth as anchors for braces treatment. However, if too great of force is applied, the tooth that is anchoring the treatment may begin to shift itself. TADs are screw-like titanium implants that act as anchors for your braces and promote favorable teeth shifting. They can also be used in place of headgear so that you don’t have to deal with a bulky device that interferes with your lifestyle needs. This appliance allows us to treat more difficult cases easily and shorten treatment time with extreme efficiency. TADs may eliminate the need for elastics or even certain oral surgeries. To take care of this appliance, you should brush it twice daily with your toothbrush and an antimicrobial solution.