Orthodontic appliances can be an effective treatment component during all phases of orthodontic treatment. These appliances may be used to prevent an orthodontic problem from occurring, to correct a current orthodontic problem, or to help manipulate jawbone growth.
Examples of oral appliances include Palatal Expander Devices (PED), Habit Appliances, Space Maintenance, Herbst appliances, and retainers.
If oral appliances will be part of your treatment, Dr. Sydlewski will review your options and will provide specific instructions on the wear and care of your oral appliances.
A habit appliance is useful to help stop a thumb or finger habit and/or to help re-train an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. It is sometimes necessary to place an appliance to minimize the harm and distortion the habits or tongue posture can have on teeth. Most habit appliances are banded for adhesion to the back molars and are not removable.
Space maintainers are used to keep teeth from drifting into an empty tooth space due to early loss of primary (baby) teeth. Baby teeth act as a guide for the eruption of the permanent teeth. A space maintainer is made of stainless steel and/or plastic. It can be removable or fixed to the teeth.
Palatal Expander Device (PED)
Used to widen or expand the upper jaw, a palatal expander can be used to address crowding and other orthodontic issues by creating more room to accommodate tooth and/or jaw alignment. Expanding the upper jaw also effects the floor of the nasal cavity, helping to increase air flow and making breathing easier.
The Herbst appliance is used in conjunction with braces to correct an overbite. Overbite is often caused by the size and position of the lower jaw. The Herbst appliance is generally used for patients between the ages of 10 and 13 years to take advantage of the patient’s natural growth spurt, aiding in the development and positioning of the lower jaw. The appliance is attached with bands cemented to one upper and one lower molar on each side of the mouth, connecting the upper and lower jaws. Gradually, the position of the lower jaw will shift, and the next phase of orthodontic treatment can begin.
Once orthodontic treatment is complete, you will wear retainers for a certain period of time to help maintain your straight smile!