When you need orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will recommend one or more appliances that would best accomplish the task. Orthodontic appliances are designed to correct your bite, align your teeth, and make it easier for you to maintain the necessary dental hygiene you require.
In this article, we’ll explore the many types of orthodontic appliances that you may choose to align your teeth, so you’ll know what to expect.
Braces are the most well-known appliance for orthodontic treatment. They’re typically made of stainless steel, with wires that run from tooth to tooth. To move the teeth into the proper alignment, the wires are generally connected to brackets cemented to the teeth.
Whether you’re concerned about the spacing between your teeth or they just look crooked, braces can help you achieve the smile you desire. Depending on your treatment, you may need to wear braces for a few months or for a year or more.
This appliance is basically a chin strap attached to two headgear bows. The headgear bows are fastened around the ears and provide even pressure to move the teeth into their proper position. Headgear is commonly used to move lower teeth, although some orthodontists use it on upper teeth as well.
Rubber bands are popular with orthodontists because they are simple to use and often provide you with faster treatment. You’ll need to wear them night and day, along with other appliances, to move your teeth.
Rubber bands are typically made of latex, although they come in other materials, such as silicone. They attach to your braces and are used to hold your teeth in the right place. While they’re often used in conjunction with your braces, they may also be used as an alternative by themselves. However, rubber bands alone can’t fully correct your teeth.
Spacers or Separators
Spacers are used to move the teeth to a desired position. They are placed between your teeth to move them a bit and make the space between your teeth larger.
There are many types of spacers, including archwire spacers, ball spacers, ring spacers, and hook spacers. You’ll need to wear them for the duration of your treatment and will likely have a noticeable gap between your teeth for a period after treatment.
Retainers are the orthodontic appliances you’ll wear long after your teeth have been moved into their proper positions. The goal of having retainers is to keep your teeth in the alignment established during orthodontic treatment. Retainers are generally removable, but you’ll need to wear them at least 20 to 22 hours per day for full effect.
A twin block appliance involves two separate appliances that improve the jaw position and profile while keeping the temporomandibular joint stable. It can be worn while eating but is removable for hygienic reasons. Made out of smooth acrylic, it uses fewer wires than other appliances. It is a viable and comfortable option for those with jaw problems.
Each of these appliances has a specific purpose and function, but all work toward giving you a better smile. Orthodontic appliances are a great way to correct your bite, but they may take some getting used to. While they may be a bit uncomfortable initially, you’ll find that they’re well worth the wait.
Find out what orthodontic appliances you need to correct your bite by asking our team of orthodontists! Schedule an appointment to visit our clinic at Manassas, VA, so you can start working toward your perfect smile.