One your orthodontic treatment is complete, we will likely recommend appliances to keep the teeth and jaws in the corrected position. It’s so important that your child wears the appliances as directed to avoid shifting. There are a variety of different appliances that we may prescribed based on your child’s unique situation, but some common ones are elastic (rubber) bands, palatal expanders, spacers, headgear, and/or retainers.
Why are appliances necessary?
Orthodontic appliances are valuable tools that we use to help straighten your child’s teeth or keep them straight following another orthodontic treatment. We also may recommend them as a way to prepare the teeth and mouth for braces or in conjunction with braces or Invisalign to make the treatment more effective.
How exactly do orthodontic appliances work?
Orthodontic appliances can actually change the way your child’s mouth “works” by correcting bone problems in the mouth. For example, headgear can influence how the jaw bone develops by holding back the upper jaw until the lower jaw can “catch up” with it. If a headgear is recommended, we usually combine it with braces so we can straighten the child’s teeth and correct the bite at the same time.
Are there any potential issues we should be aware of?
It’s super important to be careful with orthodontic appliances. If a child plays with them too much, they could loosen or pop out. Children should also avoid certain foods like very cold popsicles and ice, sticky candy, gum, and hard candies that can loosen or bend the appliance.