FAQs

Orthodontic Appliances


It’s important for you to know your braces, in case you need to call and explain to us about any issues.


  • Archwire
  • Bands
  • Bionator
  • Biteplate
  • Brackets
  • Buccal Tube
  • Chain
  • Expander
  • Fixed Retainer
  • Forsus
  • Headgear
  • Invisalign
  • Lingual Arch
  • Mouth Guard
  • Nance
  • Palatal Expander
  • Pendex
  • Removable Retainer
  • Separators
  • Thumb Crib
  • Temporary Anchors / TAD’s
  • Transpalatal Bar
Archwire

Archwire
A metal wire which is attached to your brackets to move your teeth.

Bands

Bands are a ring of metal, which fit around the molars and sometimes premolars. The bands are selected from a range of sizes in order to find the tightest fitting band. The bands are sealed in position using dental cement that contains fluoride to prevent any decalcification during treatment.

Bionator

A Bionator is a functional appliance resembling a retainer. It is often prescribed when a patient has a mismatch of dental arches resulting from a smaller lower jaw. It is used to stimulate growth of the lower jaw in actively growing patients.

Biteplate

A Biteplate is a removable appliance similar to a retainer or a fixed appliance that is used to correct a deepbite or to help correct a crossbite.

Brackets


Brackets are the small metal or ceramic modules attached to each tooth. They serve as guides to move the teeth and hold the archwire in place.

Buccal Tube

Buccal Tube
A small metal part that is welded on the outside of a molar band. The molar band contains slots to hold archwires, lip bumpers, facebows and other things your orthodontist uses to move your teeth.

Chain

Chain
A stretchable plastic chain used to hold archwires into brackets and to move teeth.

Expander

The Fixed Palatal Expander is constructed with a palatal expansion screw whose metal arms are soldered to wire framework. The framework encircles all of the posterior teeth. The Fixed Palatal Expander is an excellent way to widen a narrow upper jaw.

Fixed Retainer

Fixed retainers consist of a metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth. Fixed retainers can stay in place indefinitely.

Forsus

A Forsus appliance is used in order to help move the upper molars back while moving the lower jaw forward, thereby correcting a Class II malocclusion also referred to as an overbite. Composed of a spring coil rod, the appliance is attached to the braces which decreases the need for patient cooperation. You may notice some discomfort initially, so we recommend a soft food diet for the first few days after the appliance is placed. Regular anti-inflammatory medication may help with any pain, if needed. It is important to keep the appliance clean; you may do this by carefully brushing the coil and other metal pieces of the appliance with your toothbrush. Also, we recommend that patients not open their mouths extremely wide, as the appliance may come apart. If the Forsus appliance becomes disengaged from the tube on the upper molar, the patient can usually reinsert it on their own.

Headgear

Headgear is a general name for a type of appliance that creates special forces for guiding the growth of your face and jaws. Headgear is also used to move your teeth into better position or to prevent them from moving when they’re not supposed to

At first, your headgear may look a little strange to you, and it will seem a little awkward. But it’s a necessary part of your orthodontic treatment. Rest assured the healthy, beautiful smile that will be yours for a lifetime will be well worth the effort you make now.

To get the best results from your headgear, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Make sure to wear your headgear as directed. It only works when you wear it!
  • Always closely follow the instructions for wearing your headgear. If you do, you’ll finish this part of your treatment as quickly as possible and with the best results.
  • Always be careful and remove your headgear as you were taught.
  • Be sure to remove your headgear before you begin running or playing sports, including rough-and-tumble games. Accidents can happen even when you’re just having fun.
  • Be careful to prevent anyone from grabbing or pulling on your headgear. Do not wear headgear in situations where there is a chance that it could be pulled off or pulled out of place.
  • Take your headgear with you to every appointment.
  • We will give you instructions on the care and cleaning of your headgear. To keep the appliance working as it should, be sure to follow those instructions carefully.

Your teeth may be tender or even slightly loose the first few days you wear your headgear. This tenderness is normal and will disappear as you adjust to this new part of your treatment. If you continue to be uncomfortable for more than a few days, be sure to let our team know.

Invisalign

Invisalign® is a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that both orthodontists and dentists use as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces.

Lingual Arch

A lingual arch is an orthodontic device which connects two molars in the upper or lower dental arch.

Mouth Guard

Mouth Guard

A device that is used to protect your mouth from injury when you are participating in sports. The use of a mouth guard is especially important for orthodontic patients, to prevent injuries.

Nance

Nance

The Nance button is utilized to hold teeth in position to allow for the movement of other teeth. The impact of the button on the lower palate creates force on the back molars.

Palatal Expander

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander, also known as a rapid palatal expander, rapid maxillary expansion appliance, palate expander or orthodontic expander, is used to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit together better.

Pendex

Pendex

This appliance is made of acrylic and wires. It sits on the top of your mouth. It is attached by wires that are bonded to your first premolars and by wire arms that insert into upper first molar bands that have been cemented to your teeth. The purpose of the Pendex appliance is to push your first molars back, creating space in the upper.

Removable Retainer

Removable Retainer

A gadget that the orthodontist gives you to wear after your braces are removed. The retainer attaches to your upper and / or lower teeth and holds them in the correct position while your jaw hardens and your teeth get strongly attached to your jaw. At first, you wear the retainer 24 hours a day, and then only at night.

Separators

Separators are tiny rubber bands or springs that your orthodontist places between your back teeth. These separators prepare your mouth for braces by creating a small gap between these teeth. This space allows for the placement of a metal band around your molar, which anchors your braces in your mouth.

Thumb Crib

Thumb Crib

This simple device is given to address severe thumb/finger sucking habit. It involves using a fixed wire crib attached to two back braces.

Temporary Anchors / TAD’s

Temporary Anchors / TAD’s

One of the many important advances in orthodontics has been the development of temporary anchorage devices, or TAD’s. Made of bio-compatible titanium alloy, TAD’s are miniscrew anchors which are inserted into specific places in the mouth to be used as a fixed point from which teeth can move. TAD’s can help Dr. Frank move severely angled or impacted teeth, or help Dr. Frank intrude teeth that have over erupted. They are also helpful in achieving orthodontic movement in a mouth with missing teeth.

Transpalatal Bar

The Transpalatal Bar (TPA) is a fixed appliance that is attached to bands on the upper molar teeth. The bar that sits across the roof of the palate fits into a soldered clip located on the bands.

American Association of Orthodontists
World Federation of Orthodontists
Australian Dental Association
Australian Society of Orthodontists
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