Many of the functional disorders of the jaw that adults experience can be prevented in childhood through the proper support of natural growth and development. Even the most complex cases of crowding and congenitally missing dentition can be supported and improved with the use of functional appliances. Bite correction is possible at almost any age, but helping the body put the teeth in the right place from the start is the ideal for long-term joint health, muscle function, and occlusal stability.
We offer several types of fixed and removable orthodontic appliances in our office:
Interceptive Appliances for Children
If Dr. Preis determines crowding is going to be a problem in years to come, he will recommend the use of appliances to expand the jaw to create enough space prior to the emergence of all the permanent teeth. Similarly, if Dr.Preis sees that your child’s jaw is not growing properly, he will use appliances to correct the problem. Such appliance therapy is much easier to do with younger children who are still growing.
Minor Tooth Alignment
Not all crooked or misaligned teeth require full braces to treat. In cases where there is only minor misalignment of a few teeth, an appliance can be used to push or pull those teeth into the right position. This can be done for both adults and children. After appliance therapy is completed, a period of retention and stabilization is required.
Habit Controlling Appliances
Habit Controlling Appliances are used to aid in the elimination of functional habits such as tongue thrusting, abnormal swallowing and thumb sucking. If left untreated these various habits can lead to the need for an extensive orthodontic treatment.
Habits such as tongue thrusting or abnormal swallowing are very difficult to recognize by the parent or a caregiver. Regular dental visits starting at age 1 or 1.5 years of age will allow early diagnosis of the habit and initiation of interceptive treatment. If a harmful habit is interrupted early enough the natural growth process of the jaw and teeth may be able to fully compensate for any malocclusions that were created.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE AND CARE
- Make sure to brush and floss your teeth and oral tissue to ensure that your mouth and teeth are clean before inserting the appliance.
- Always ensure to push the appliance into the correct position using your fingers and thumbs, never bite it into place.
- When removing the appliance, try to pull by a plastic part, if none accessible gently tug on the wire “clips” at the back.
- The appliance should always be brushed clean using a toothbrush, water and a bit of toothpaste or a drop or two of liquid hand soap. Brush and rinse the appliance after each wear period, and be sure to store it in the case that was provided for you.
- Ocassionally, to prevent tartar buildup, the appliance should be soaked for a few hours in a denture cleaner solution available at any drug store.
- Always be sure to keep this appliance away from pets. Dogs have a tendency to chew these appliances, and will destroy them in the process.