Retainers are required to hold straightened teeth in position after braces. If a retainer is not worn, there is a risk of teeth shifting back into misalignment. A retainer should be worn full-time except for when eating. Clean it once a day with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and warm water. They are very fragile and should be kept away from heat and stored in the case when they are not in use.
Elastics (Rubber Bands) are used to improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth by adjusting your bite and jaw position. These are connected to the brace brackets with hooks, often connecting a top tooth bracket with a bottom tooth bracket. They are to be removed during meals and before brushing your teeth and often need to be replace daily due to wear. The need for elastics is based off a patients existing jaw alignment and not everyone who gets braces will require them. Watch Video on Class II Elastics.
A palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw arch (roof of your mouth) by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. This is primarily used to correct cross bites and reduce crowding. The appliance is often worn for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed around a molar tooth. The separators are used until there is enough space and will be removed before placing a band. Patients are advised to avoid sticky foods and are not allowed to toothpicks or floss while they are placed.
Interceptive orthodontics is the guidance of tooth eruption and correction of an abnormal bite (malocclusion) in children by early intervention and monitoring by an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that a child be brought in to see an orthodontist for assessment by age seven when the first set of permanent molars have grown in. Interceptive orthodontics is often the first phase of orthodontic treatment and is usually achieved by simple fixed or removable appliances. It may not prevent the need for braces, retainers, or other treatments in later years but it can minimize serious, complicated problems in the future.
The key advantage of Interceptive orthodontics is to prevent the development of future serious problems through diagnosing and treating malocclusions as soon as they are detected. The advantages of early treatment through interceptive orthodontics also include:
Dr. Dagasso would be happy to see you and your child for a consultation, at that time he will examine your child’s developing teeth and jaws and make recommendations that are appropriate to guide the development of the occlusion.
Traditional Orthodontics whether with braces or Invisalign can usually correct malocclusions which are due to the teeth being in the wrong positions. However when the upper and lower jaws are different in size, shape, or position, orthodontics alone cannot align the teeth and jaws for a better fit. In these cases a combination of orthodontics and Surgery becomes necessary.
Surgically moving one or both jaws to correct the position of the jaws with orthodontics to correct the position of the teeth is often required to achieve the best combination of a good bite and good facial esthetics.
Orthognathic surgeries will take place in a hospital and are performed by an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. After the surgery, we can then resume regular orthodontic visits “fine-tune” your bite and correct tooth alignment.