Types of Appliances
Orthodontist Northbrook IL
Orthodontic treatment may involve the use of appliances in order to straighten teeth. Our orthodontists can prescribe and construct appliances suited to your individual and unique needs.
Elastics or Rubber Bands
At Thometz & Uhland Orthodontics, most of our patients will need to wear rubber bands at some point during their orthodontic treatment with braces. The purpose of rubber bands is to correct an overbite or underbite. If your teeth do not fit properly, we may recommend you wear rubber bands during treatment.
Here are some tips for wearing rubber bands:
Use the correct rubber bands. Rubber bands come in different diameters and elastic strengths. We will provide you with specific rubber bands that fit the needs of your smile. Make sure you use the ones given by us in order for your jaw to move into place properly.
Wear them for the right amount of time. Be sure to wear your rubber bands for the appropriate amount of time that is instructed by our orthodontist. Depending on your individual needs, you may need to wear your rubber bands all the time or part-time, like during the day or during sleep. If you don’t wear them as instructed, your jaw and teeth can start moving back to original positions, which can prolong treatment time.
Wear them appropriately. Patients have been known to double up on rubber bands thinking that it will make their teeth move faster. However, this can create more problems with your jaw and teeth. Also, do not wear rubber bands longer than instructed. Over time, the rubber bands will begin to lose their elasticity, which can affect treatment.
If you have any questions about orthodontic rubber bands, be sure to contact our Northbrook orthodontist. Wearing rubber bands is an important process during your treatment, and can reduce the time you have your braces.
Headgear may be used to treat patients who have an overbite or underbite. As with elastics, headgear is used when extra force is needed to move the teeth and jaw.
There are several different types of orthodontic headgear, each designed to work best in a specific situation. Our team will design a personalized orthodontic treatment plan to address your individual needs, and select the most appropriate type of headgear. It is important to follow our instructions carefully so that we can achieve the best results for your treatment.
If a headgear is recommended, it is typically worn at night while sleeping or at home. It should never be worn while playing sports and should be removed while eating or brushing your teeth.
If you have any questions regarding an orthodontic headgear, please contact our orthodontist in Northbrook, IL.
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 continue to wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and prevent relapse.
When your braces are taken off, the retention phase will begin. It is important to maintain your straight smile after treatment. Your final orthodontic results depend on your retainer, so be sure to follow through with care, even after your braces have been removed.
Types of Retainers:
- Clear Retainers – A removable, clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth.
- Traditional Retainers – A removable appliance made of acrylic and a wire that sits on the front side of your teeth.
- Bonded Retainer – A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily bonded to the lingual (tongue) side of the anterior teeth.
Our orthodontists will provide you with the best retainer option that is suited for your orthodontic treatment plan. All retainers should be worn as often as instructed to do so. Keep in mind that your teeth have been in active treatment for months or even years. Wearing your retainer right after treatment is crucial and should be worn for the appropriate amount of time each day as instructed.
Your retainer is an important part of completing your orthodontic treatment, so take care of it and it will take care of you. Regardless of whether it’s made of acrylic and wire or thermoplastic, the process of cleaning your device should be the same.
When it is not in your mouth, keep your retainer in its case. Bacteria and plaque also pose a significant threat to the life of your retainer. Bacteria can build up on it, just like they do on your teeth, making the apparatus less hygienic and affecting the fit. For theses reasons, regular cleaning is vital for retainer care.
When cleaning your retainer, you can brush it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You will also need to disinfect your retainer by soaking it in a denture solution. Thoroughly rinse your retainer with cold or room temperature water before placing it back in your mouth.
For more information about your retainer, please contact our orthodontists in Northbrook.