Appliances

Retainers | Palatal Expander | Lower Expander | Bite Plate | Headgear | Facemask | Forsus/Herbst | Pendex/Pendulum | Lip Bumper | Space Maintainer | Spacer/Separator

 

Retainers

 

Getting your teeth straight doesn’t mean much if they don’t stay that way! We want you to enjoy your new smile for a lifetime, which is why we issue two sets of retainers to our full orthodontic cases. The initial invisible set is delivered the day your appliances are removed to insure quality and stability. These invisible retainers are worn 24/7 for about two months. After a couple of months another final set (with wires and plastic) is delivered for nightly wear.

Retainers prevent the teeth from moving back to their original position and prevent changes that occur naturally as part of the aging process. If you want to keep your teeth straight, like the day your braces were removed, you will need to wear your retainers regularly for life (only at night after the initial fulltime wear).

If you lose or break your retainers, or are having trouble wearing them, contact us immediately. Retainers are not meant to last a lifetime and regular wear and tear will cause them to break after a while. It is your responsibility to inspect them and order new ones as needed. We will see you for retainer checks for two years following the removal of braces. These check-ups are included in your original cost.

Caring for your retainers:

  • Brush your teeth as well as your retainers after every meal. Use a toothbrush and liquid soap/dishwashing liquid to clean all surfaces. You may also soak your retainers in solutions especially designed for cleaning retainers once a week for 15 minutes to remove any tartar build-up.
  • When the retainers are not in your mouth, keep them in the retainer case provided. Never place it in your pocket or purse directly. Never wrap the retainer in napkins or you will lose it in the trash. Also, pets love to chew on the plastic appliances so keep them out of their reach.
  • Never place them in hot water or boil them.
  • Do not bite them into place (use your finger to seat them).
  • If you lose or break a retainer, call us immediately. Your teeth will shift if retainers are not worn.

Back to Top


Palatal Expander

Expander is an orthodontic device used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch.

When patients are still growing, their connective tissue between the left and right halves of their upper jaw is very responsive to expansion. By simply activating the expander through turning a screw in the center, with a special key we provide, gradual outward pressure is placed on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This pressure causes an increased amount of bone to grow between the right and left halves of the jaw, ultimately resulting in an increased width.

Please follow the prescription given by Dr. Mojdehi-Barnes for the activation schedule. You will notice excess saliva production for the first few days. This and your speech will go back to normal in about a week. The more you speak the sooner your speech will adjust.

Click to start video.

 

Back to Top


Lower Expander

Lower expanders are used to reduce the crowding in the lower jaw by expanding the teeth. This device is activated similar to the palatal expander by simply turning a screw in the center, with a special key we provide.

Please follow the prescription given by Dr. Mojdehi-Barnes for the activation and wear schedule. You will notice excess saliva production for the first few days. This and your speech will go back to normal in about a week. The more you speak the sooner your speech will adjust.

Caring for your lower expander:

  • Brush your teeth as well as your lower expanders after every meal. Use a toothbrush and liquid soap/dishwashing liquid to clean all surfaces. You may also soak your lower expanders in solutions especially designed for cleaning retainers once a week for 15 minutes to remove any tartar build-up.
  • When the lower expanders are not in your mouth, keep them in the case provided. Never place it in your pocket or purse directly. Never wrap the lower expander in napkins or you will lose it in the trash. Also, pets love to chew on the plastic appliances so keep them out of their reach.
  • Never place them in hot water or boil them
  • Do not bite them into place (use your finger to seat them)
  • Try not to play with the expander by flipping it up and down
  • If you lose or break a lower expander, call us immediately.

Back to Top


Bite Plate

Bite plates are designed to correct deep overbites so that the upper front teeth don’t cover too much of the lower teeth. When you wear a bite plate, the lower back teeth have room to erupt so that your lower arch is flat and level.

Bite plates must be worn all the time (including eating). Only remove them to brush or while playing sports. You will notice excess saliva production for the first few days. This and your speech will go back to normal in about a week. The more you speak the sooner your speech will adjust.

Caring for your bite plate:

  • Brush your teeth as well as your bite plates after every meal. Use a toothbrush and liquid soap/dishwashing liquid to clean all surfaces. You may also soak your bite plates in solutions especially designed for cleaning retainers once a week for 15 minutes to remove any tartar build-up.
  • When the bite plates are not in your mouth, keep them in the case provided. Never place it in your pocket or purse directly. Never wrap the bite plate in napkins or you will lose it in the trash. Also, pets love to chew on the plastic appliances so keep them out of their reach.
  • Never place them in hot water or boil them
  • Do not bite them into place (use your finger to seat them)
  • Try not to play with the expander by flipping it up and down
  • If you lose or break a bite plate, call us immediately.

Back to Top


Headgear

Headgears are designed to correct an overjet and overbite by holding the growth of the upper jaw back and allowing the lower jaw to catch up.

We will give you specific instructions on how to wear your headgear. Usually they are worn 12-14 hours a day but only at home (DO NOT wear your headgear outside or to school). The first few nights of headgear wear can be challenging, but with consistent wear it will become natural to wear it to bed.

Be cautious while wearing your appliance. Always remove the headgear by first taking off the strap. Never wear the headgear while playing around with your friends or playing sports. If you have any trouble with the headgear, please call us. Always bring your headgear to your appointments.

Back to Top


Facemask

A facemask (also known as reverse-pull headgear) is designed to pull the upper jaw and teeth forward to fix an underbite. It is also used to change the relationship between the upper and lower jaws.

We will give you specific instructions on how to wear your facemask. Usually they are worn 12-14 hours a day but only at home. Do not wear your facemask outside or to school. The first few nights of facemask wear can be challenging, but with consistent wear, it will become natural to wear it to bed. Cleansing the face with antibacterial soap/astringent before wearing the facemask and moisturizing the areas under the pads during the day helps keep the skin healthy.

Be cautious while wearing your appliance. Always remove the facemask by first securing the appliance and then removing the rubber bands. Never wear the facemask while playing around with your friends or playing sports. If you have any trouble with the facemask, please call us. Always bring your facemask to your appointments.

Back to Top


Forsus/Herbst

The Forsus and Herbst Appliances are designed to slow down the forward growth of the upper jaw, and in turn stimulate the forward growth of the lower jaw. There are also some dental changes that occur with this movement to help correct excess overjet. The lower jaw feels propelled forward with these appliances, but the opening and closing movements are not affected. Patients quickly adjust to chewing in the new lower jaw position, but we ask that you try not to open your mouth too wide while these appliances are in place. As with all orthodontic appliances, you must avoid hard, sticky and chewy foods. Speech is usually not affected by this appliance, but you may experience excess saliva production for the first few days. If you play sports and wear a mouth guard, we will need to adjust it to fit around these appliances.

Back to Top


Pendex/Pendulum

These appliances are similar to palatal expanders and fit in the roof of the mouth. They are designed to selectively push the upper back molars towards the back of the mouth without affecting the jaw positions. In some cases, we also expand and widen the upper jaw with this appliance. You will notice excess saliva production for the first few days. This and your speech will go back to normal in about a week. The more you speak the sooner your speech will adjust.

Back to Top


Lip Bumper

The lip bumper is designed to push the lower molars back to gain space in the lower jaw and reduce crowding. Sometimes, the Lip Bumper is used to correct a “lip trap” habit.

The lip bumper will push the lower lip out a bit, and it is the pressure of the lower lip against the bumper that moves the molars back. It is important to try to eat with the lip bumper in.

Caring for your Lip Bumper:

Brush your teeth as well as your Lip Bumpers after every meal. When the Lip Bumpers are not in your mouth, keep them in the case provided. Never place it in your pocket or purse directly. Never wrap the Lip Bumper in napkins or you will lose it in the trash. If you lose or break a Lip Bumper, call us immediately.

Back to Top


Space Maintainer

Space maintainers are placed in the mouth when primary teeth have been lost prematurely or when the lower incisors are crowded. They keep the back molars from moving forward as the remaining primary teeth are replaced with permanent ones. By doing so they help reduce the lower crowding and maintain spaces for the rest of the permanent teeth to erupt into.

Back to Top


Spacer/Separator

Spacers or separators are small elastics rings or metal springs that fit snugly between certain teeth to separate them slightly so bands can be placed around them later. A spacer can fall out on its own if enough space has already been created. To determine if it needs to be replaced, slip a piece of dental floss between the teeth; if you feel contact between the teeth , that means the spacer hasn’t created enough room and needs to be replaced prior to your banding appointment.

You must avoid sticky and chewy foods that can pull the spacers out. Also, do not floss the area where the spacers are placed (you may floss everywhere else).

Unfortunately spacers may cause discomfort when they are placed in, and they can make your teeth sore. You can take over-the-counter pain-medications as needed (please read all labels prior to taking any medications).

  

Back to Top