Orthodontic Appliances – Worcester, MA
Customized Devices to Target Issues Head-On
While many people tend to think about braces or Invisalign when they hear the word “orthodontics,” it’s worth mentioning that they are far from the only type of appliance you or your youngest family members may receive. Dr. Alkhoury offers many different types of orthodontic appliances, all of which have their own unique purpose for addressing your dental concerns. If you aren’t sure if you need one, don’t hesitate to give our orthodontic office a call directly to learn more about orthodontic appliances in Worcester, MA!
Does My Child Need an Orthodontic Appliance?
Your child may need an orthodontic appliance depending on the type of developmental concerns they might be facing. For example, a space maintainer, which could be removable or fixed into place, can help make room for erupting permanent teeth. Additionally, a retainer is crucial to wear after traditional braces come off. This appliance makes sure that their teeth remain in their newly straight position and don’t drift back to their crooked position. Read on to learn more about some of the orthodontic appliances we offer.
No matter how old you are and no matter which orthodontic treatment you complete, it’s likely that you’ll need to wear a retainer afterwards. This little appliance is what will help hold your teeth in their newly straightened positions for many years to come! Without one, your pearly whites may shift out of place again. Depending on your preference, we offer both fixed and removable retainers.
Although baby teeth are meant to come out eventually, losing one too soon can cause trouble. The baby teeth on either side of the gap could potentially move into the space and trap the permanent tooth underneath. A space maintainer ensures that the incoming tooth has the room it needs to erupt correctly.
Realigning the jaws and fixing bite issues becomes more difficult and time-consuming once the jawbone has fully developed. Thankfully, a Herbst appliance can help younger patients correct issues like overbite while their mouth is still growing, preventing the need for more complicated treatment later.
Twin Block Appliance
Another way to address an overbite while the jaw is still growing is with a twin block appliance. Two appliances worn on the lower and upper back teeth retrains the muscles to move the jaw forward, thus closing the overbite. While these appliances are removable, they should only be taken out to be cleaned.
If a child’s mouth is too small or narrow, the teeth may begin to come in crooked. This problem can get worse with time, but a palatal expander can reliably and gently fix the issue and give your child’s teeth the room they need to erupt correctly. This appliance places gentle but consistent pressure on the back molars, which gradually widens the arch.
Spacers or Separators
Spacers or separators are used when an orthodontic appliance needs a bit of space between the teeth to work properly. These small, donut-shaped rubber bands can be placed between the teeth to provide the necessary space without damaging the enamel.
Since the molars are the largest teeth, the only way they could be straightened in the past was with bulky headgear. While effective, many patients found these cumbersome appliances embarrassing. The Carriere appliance offers the same result in a much more subtle way.
If you child continues to suck on their thumbs or fingers after the age of five, their permanent teeth could come in at odd angles. A tongue crib can help them break this habit before this happens! This metal appliance attaches to the roof of the mouth, making it difficult to create suction while sucking on fingers and encouraging the tongue to rest on the floor of the mouth instead of pressed against the teeth.
A bionator can help correct a child’s overbite if it’s detected early enough. This device utilizes a period of time during skeletal development to encourage the lower jaw to grow forward into a healthier position.
A “deep bite” occurs when the top teeth cover the bottom teeth too much. This can sometimes happen at the beginning of an orthodontic treatment. A bite plate can be used to keep the back teeth from touching. This shifts the bulk of the chewing to the front of the teeth, which gradually fixes the problem. While bite plates can feel strange to wear initially, it’s a reliable treatment for deep bites.