Orthodontic Appliances – Framingham, MA
Personalized Care for Happier, Straighter Smiles
When you think of orthodontics, braces or Invisalign may be what initially comes to mind, but this field of dentistry involves much more, especially for young patients. We can provide other orthodontic services that uniquely give your child a straighter, healthier smile for life. Could your child benefit from one of the following appliances? Give Simply Orthodontics of Framingham a call to set up your consultation today!
Does My Child Need an Orthodontic Appliance?
For some patients, the problem actually lies with the jawbone or the oral cavity itself. Orthodontic appliances can help with changing the way your child develops before braces, making space for braces, or preserving the results afterward. As a result, your child wins in the long run with a more confident smile. Below are descriptions of the types of appliances we offer and their purposes.
Although treatment with traditional braces may be complete, your child isn’t finished with orthodontic work yet. They need to wear a retainer after the braces come off to keep teeth from regressing to their old positions. A fixed or removeable retainer ensures that your child’s smile stays straight. After a while, they can transition to only wearing their retainers at night.
Did you know that your child’s baby teeth are placeholders for the permanent ones? If a baby tooth is lost too early, the alignment of adult teeth can be thrown off. As the name implies, a space maintainer keeps the space open for a permanent tooth to erupt and may lessen orthodontic issues in the future. This appliance may be removeable or fixed.
If your child has an overbite, biting into food can be uncomfortable and inefficient. Before their jaw has fully developed, the Herbst appliance can move the lower jaw forward and the upper molars further back, providing the space necessary to give your child healthier bite alignment.
Twin Block Appliance
Consisting of two appliances worn on upper and lower teeth, the twin block appliances are used to correct uneven bites. Essentially, they retrain the jaw muscles to realign properly. Your child should wear these appliances all the time, including while eating, and only remove them for daily cleaning.
Some children have a narrow or small palate, which restricts the space needed to realign teeth. As a result, we need to create more room in the upper arch. A palatal expander applies outward pressure on the back molars, which adds width and automatically gives us more space to maneuver teeth.
Spacer or Separators
Many orthodontic appliances need to be placed on molars, which are often packed tightly against each other. We carefully put tiny rubber donuts, called spacers or separators, in between these teeth so that we have just a little bit of extra room for another appliance. As a result, it fits comfortably in your child’s mouth.
Realigning back teeth requires more complicated orthodontic work. In the past, that meant wearing bulky headgear. Fortunately, we now use the Carriere appliance, which realigns and preserve molars, even those that have erupted incorrectly. It also looks significantly more subtle, so your child doesn’t have to feel as self-conscious.
If your child sucks their thumb beyond age three, it can impact their long-term oral development. Although we recommend other methods as well, a tongue crib can help put a stop to this bad habit. Basically, we attach the metal appliance to the roof of the mouth, which blocks suction around the thumb. It also encourages your child to rest their tongue on the floor of the mouth.
If your child hasn’t reached skeletal maturity, a bionator can be used to treat an overbite while they are still developing. This appliance can promote lower jaw bone growth and must be worn all the time, except while your child is eating or cleaning their teeth.
For upper front teeth that drastically cover the lower front teeth, a bite plate keeps the molars from touching, which means the front teeth have to do most of the chewing. This treatment is usually used at the beginning of the orthodontic process, and some difficulty with speech is normal for a little while.