Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Elastics must be worn as instructed in order to achieve the best results from your orthodontic treatment. Remember, that every month elastics are not worn as prescribed adds at least an additional month on to your treatment.
The Herbst® appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.
The rapid palatal expander is used when the upper jaw is severely constricted (narrow) and the posterior teeth are in crossbite. It "expands" (or widens) the upper jaw by separating the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This separation takes only a few weeks to complete. However, the expander must remain in place for 8 to 10 months to allow time for the bone in the upper jaw to remodel with the teeth in their new expanded position. Dr. Carroll and Dr. Sutton will instruct you about when and how to activate your expander.
Separators or Spacers
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Bands are not used in most cases but are necessary when an appliance other than an archwire need to be attached the braces or when certain types of restorations are present. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss.
An occlusal orthotic is a custom fit acrylic appliance that provides an ideal bite when worn in the mouth. Dr. Carroll and Dr. Sutton utilize T-Scan III technology to properly adjust their orthotics. Orthotics are sometimes referred to as splints or night-guards. Boil and bite night-guards available over the counter are not the same thing. They do cover the teeth but they do not provide an ideal bite, which is the primary purpose of an orthotic. Soft over the counter night-guards should never be used for clenching, grinding and pain. Using a soft appliance is like placing chewing gum in the mouth. It will usually makes things worse.