Removable Appliances in Orthodontics
Appliances are used during various stages of the orthodontic process, either to retain the new position of teeth or in some cases to influence the growth of the jaws for a better bite alignment. Appliances may be fixed or removable.
Types of Removable Appliances
Herbst® Appliance: Used to correct Excessive Overjet (Lay Term: overbite), this fixed orthodontic appliance is typically used on younger patients.
Palatal Expander: Designed to widen your upper jaw, a palatal expander applies outward pressure on your upper molars to slowly expand your palate. Palatal expander home care instructions.
Spacers (Separators): Spacers are plastic rings that are inserted between back teeth before you have braces, providing space for your teeth to shift. If a spacer comes out, call our office to see if you need a replacement. Do not chew sticky foods with or floss teeth that have spacers in them.
Elastics (Rubber Bands): Rubber bands are used with fixed metal braces. They must be worn at all times in order to be effective, and changed daily per our instructions.
Headgear: For a severe overjet (Lay term overbite) or underbite, headgear is sometimes used to push your teeth in different direction continuously to promote or restrict the growth of jaws.
Positioners: Designed to complete the final tooth necessary movements, positioners are usually the last step in the orthodontic process.
Retainers: Used after braces are removed to hold teeth in their new positions. You must wear your retainer as prescribed to prevent regression of your treatment. See our tips and instructions for home care for retainers.
Taking Care of Removable Appliances
As with retainers, all orthodontic appliances should be worn as prescribed. They should be cleaned with toothpaste once a day, and if removed for eating or sports, they should be placed in their container, never in a pocket or napkin where they may be broken or thrown away.
Pain And Soreness Caused by Removable Appliances
It is normal for new or recently adjusted appliances to cause soreness or a slight alteration of speech for a few days following your appointment. If you experience a sore spot on the gums, however, please call our office so that we can make an appropriate adjustment.