To successfully complete your orthodontic treatment plan, patients must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the elastics (rubber bands), headgear or other appliances as prescribed.
The following paragraphs describe the types of appliances that may be used during your treatment.
Elastics (Rubber Bands) | Twin force/Jasper Jumpers | Headgear/ Reverse pull head gear | Herbst® Appliance
Palatal Expander | Functional Appliances | Retainers | Invisible Aligners | Spacers or Separators
Wearing elastics (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.
Designed to act as "permanent rubber bands" and will help improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth.
Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an "overbite", with the uppers forward of the lowers, or an "underbite" with the lowers forward of the uppers. Headgear gently "pulls" on your teeth to restrict or promote further forward growth of your upper teeth and Jaw.
This Herbst appliance reduces overbite by directing and accelerating growth of the lower jaw forward. The Herbst can also be used to move the upper molars and teeth in general backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 8 months.
The palatal expander "expands" (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 wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.
These removable appliances are used to help with the growth of the lower jaw to improve the facial esthetics and reduce the overbite and over-jet of the patient.
Retainers may be removable or fixed and are designed to hold your teeth in their new position following alignment of your teeth. Occasionally, a retainer may be used to correct minor tooth discrepancies. Dr. Shojaei will instruct you on how to wear and care for your retainer. In a way, retainer wear is a life time commitment. Wearing your retainer as directed is a must and will prevent your teeth from relapsing back to their old position. Visit the Retainer page on this site for more information.
These transparent retainers which are used in series to align minor tooth discrepancies.
Spacers are little rubber doughnuts that are fit in between some of your teeth to make room for metal bands that will be placed at a following visit. Usually, spacers feel like you have food in between your teeth. With spacers you should avoid sticky foods and avoid the use of floss and tooth picks at these sites. Always keep track of your spacers by periodically checking to make sure they are still there.