Types of Appliances
Bite Correction Without Headgear
The Carriere Distalizer is an orthodontic device developed to correct a bite without removing permanent teeth when teeth have erupted incorrectly. With an effect similar to headgear, but without the use of a bulky appliance, the Carriere Distalizer pushes upper teeth back to create a corrected bite prior to the addition of braces. How does the Carriere Distalizer work?
- First, your orthodontist will create an anchor point, most commonly with a lower Essix Appliance, a passive lingual arch, full mandibular fixed appliance, or mini-screws. A Carriere Distalizer arm is then attached to the upper teeth on both sides of your mouth.
- An elastic band is attached from the upper bar to the lower back molars and should be worn at all times except when eating.
- With good elastic wear, your bite can be corrected in a matter of months, depending on the severity of your case.
- When the Carriere Distalizer arms are removed, we will place upper braces to finish correcting your bite and aligning your teeth to the perfectly straight, ideal smile you've always wanted.
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics/rubber bands improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. It is important to wear rubber bands as instructed, and to remember that the rubber bands work best if they're worn as prescribed.
Headgear is used to treat patients with a particular jaw discrepancy. Headgear gently "pulls" on your teeth to restrict or promote certain jaw growth.
The Herbst® appliance reduces the horizontal bite discrepancy between the front teeth by positioning the lower jaw forward, helping to accelerate lower jaw growth in younger, growing patients. This fixed appliance is typically worn for 12 months.
The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist 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 relapse.
Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, corrected positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.
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 can be dislodged with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss, so please be cautious when these are placed.