Separators or Spacers
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss.
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These appliances are used to hold space for the permanent teeth to erupt as the baby teeth are lost. It is cemented in place and should only be removed by the doctors. There will be some temporary awkwardness in eating and swallowing.
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Fixed Expander Appliances
The fixed expander "expands" (or widens) your upper and/or lower jaw by putting gentle pressure on your 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 regression.
The Herbst® appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.
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Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an overbite, with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw; or an underbite, with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw. Headgear gently "pulls" on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.
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Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after they 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.
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Elastics (rubber bands)
Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed, and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they're worn as prescribed.