Orthodontic Appliances – Marlborough, MA
Personalized Oral Appliances to Help You Smile
Did you know that there is a lot more to orthodontics than just braces and Invisalign? When it comes to realigning your smile, we use many methods and techniques, especially for children. Below you’ll find explanations of some of the alternate ways we can change the alignment of your child’s teeth and bite, giving them more function and confidence in their smile. Could your child benefit from orthodontia? Give Simply Orthodontics of Marlborough a call and schedule an appointment today!
Does My Child Need an Orthodontic Appliance?
In orthodontics, we don’t have to wait for your child to be done developing before we treat misalignment. In fact, most of the time, it’s better to start early. That’s why we recommend coming to us by the time your child turns seven years old. With one or more of our orthodontic appliances, their treatment time may be shortened, and they can enjoy a more even bite that lasts a lifetime.
After braces come off, whether for an adult or child, a retainer keeps your teeth in their straightened positions. Without it, teeth can drift and regress back, but this appliance protects your investment by preventing relapse. Retainers can be either removeable or fixed, depending on your needs.
Your child’s baby teeth serve as place holders for the permanent ones. If these primary teeth are lost too early, the permanent teeth may not have enough room to erupt correctly. A space maintainer, either removeable or fixed, keeps teeth out of the gap to make way for permanent tooth to come in properly.
Once the jaw bone has developed, making alignment changes is much more difficult and time consuming. However, younger patients with an overbite can wear a Herbst appliance, which simultaneously guides the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward for a healthier bite.
Twin Block Appliance
This treatment consists of two appliances, worn on both the upper and lower teeth. For an overbite, when your child bites, these appliances retrain the jaw muscles to place the lower jaw in a more forward position. The twin block appliances are removeable, but they should only be taken out when they are being cleaned.
If your child has a narrow or small palate, they likely have overcrowded teeth. Also, their arches probably don’t have enough space to realign their teeth properly. A palatal expander places pressure on the back molars, pushing them outward and widening the arch. As a result, teeth can be more easily maneuvered.
Spacer or Separators
To place some orthodontic appliances, there needs to be a tiny bit of extra room around teeth, especially back molars. To create this space, we put little rubber donuts, called spacers or separators, between these teeth, allowing the other appliance to be positioned more comfortably and without damage to your child’s teeth.
Several years ago, realigning back teeth often meant having to wear bulky headgear, which often impacted a patient’s confidence. Fortunately, we use the Carriere appliance, which is way more subtle. Even if the back teeth have erupted incorrectly, this appliance also allows us to preserve them and make them straight.
Deterring thumb or finger sucking can be accomplished several ways, but if your child persists with this bad habit, we can use a tongue crib. This metal appliance, which attaches to the roof of the mouth, hinders their ability to get suction and encourages your child to rest their tongue on the floor of their mouth, not pressed up against the upper teeth.
As another alternative to correct an overbite, a bionator is effective only during a limited period on children who still have plenty of skeletal development left. This appliance promotes lower jaw bone growth and must be worn all the time, with the exception of eating and oral care.
A bite plate addresses upper front teeth that drastically cover the bottom front teeth, usually at the beginning of orthodontic treatment. Often, this appliance doesn’t allow the back teeth to touch, so chewing needs to be performed by the front teeth. With this treatment, early difficulty with speech is common but definitely surmountable.