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Types of Braces & Orthodontic Appliances

Article by Dr. Leaver & Dr. Gardner

If you have crooked teeth or a misaligned bite such as an underbite or overbite, there are a number of treatment plans and products available to you that are designed to correct these and many other dental issues. Your Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics specialist may recommend braces or orthodontic appliances to correct irregularities of the teeth and jaw. Some of the devices used to correct these misalignments include the following.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces available and are often recommended to younger patients although they can be used on any age group. They are made from quality high-grade stainless steel and are much more comfortable than the metal braces of yesteryear. Metal brackets and archwires are attached to straighten teeth. Younger patients often elect to use colored rubber bands for a more unique appearance and smile.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made from clear materials and are much less noticeable when applied to your teeth than the more traditional form of metal braces. Ceramic braces are often the preferred choice of older teenagers and adult patients who are naturally more self-conscience and have cosmetic concerns. They do however require a higher degree of oral maintenance and hygiene as they are larger and easier to break than traditional metal braces. It is for these very reasons that ceramic braces are only used on the upper front teeth as opposed to both the upper and lower teeth.

Invisalign Clear Alligners

Invisalign is an invisible orthodontic appliance that is designed to use a series of removable aligners to straighten your teeth. Not only is the appliance extremely comfortable, it can also be removed so you can continue your regular routine of brushing, flossing and eating the foods that you normally enjoy.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are more aesthetically pleasing than the more traditional metal braces or even ceramic braces because they are placed at the back of the teeth making them essentially undetectable. This is particularly reassuring for those patients who are hoping to retain a normal appearance during the time of their treatment. Lingual braces are custom made to fit the maxillofacial structure of each individual. Some patients experience speech problems when the braces are first fitted but most issues disperse on their own once the patient becomes accustomed.

Palatial Expanders

Palatal Expanders are used to widen the jaw to correct the problem of a narrow bite which often results in overcrowded teeth. In the past, teeth were often extracted to make room for overcrowded teeth but these days’ orthodontists recommend wearing a palatal expander for a period of time before fitting braces to move the teeth into the correct position. A palatal expander is a device that is fitted to your palate to apply pressure to the back of your molars in order to move the teeth farther apart.

Other Orthodontic Appliances

Nance holding arch appliance: This device is applied to prevent the molars from moving forward.
Lower lingual holding arch appliance: This device helps preserve space between baby and adult teeth.
Pendulum appliance: This device is applied to push the molars back.
Bite corrector appliance: This device pushes the lower teeth forward and the upper teeth back.
Bite jump appliance: This device is used to correct an underbite in the front teeth of younger children.

Expert Orthodontic Care

For more information regarding braces and orthodontic appliances, contact the knowledgeable professionals at Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics today!