Hanson Place Orthodontics

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Orthodontic Appliances – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

July 16th, 2014

If it has been recommended by your orthodontist that you wear braces to correct teeth that are growing in crooked or to correct any problem with misaligned teeth, there are some other orthodontic appliances you may also need to wear.

Elastics, or rubber bands, may also be recommended. These small bands typically attach to wire fixed to the upper and lower teeth to help them fit together. If you are prescribed elastics, it is important that you follow your orthodontist's directions for wearing them properly.

Headgear may also be necessary. If you suffer from an overbite where your upper teeth are extended over your lower teeth, then wearing headgear will help restrict your upper teeth and jaw from growing forward.

The Herbst Appliance is similar to headgear in that it also helps correct an overbite in patients. This appliance is more often worn by smaller children whose teeth are still growing. It is fixed in the mouth for a period of between twelve and fifteen months.

A Palatal Expander widens the upper jaw by exerting a small amount of pressure on the upper molars as they are periodically adjusted.  Positioners are used for the final push in correcting your teeth. Worn for a short period of one or two months, the use of the Positioners is a sign that your treatment is almost complete.

There are several different types of retainers that may be prescribed. A retainer can either be fixed, which means that it cannot be removed for the duration of the procedure, or it can be removable for eating and cleaning. The type of retainer prescribed will depend of the type of treatment necessary.

Separators are small tight rubber bands that help push the teeth apart and prevent them from growing into each other. Sometimes called Spacers, these are a precursor to the Elastics describe above.

Types of Retainers and How they Work

July 16th, 2014

In terms of orthodontics, a retainer is a device that is made to hold teeth in position in the attempt to straighten them. A retainer is typically made of plastic that has been molded to fit the mouth of the individual and it is held in place with wire. Retainers are removable for eating as well as for brushing and flossing.

The amount of time an individual patient may be required to wear a retainer will vary. Usually, they are worn over night, yet some patients may be required to wear them during the day for a certain period of time.

There are four different types of retainers used by orthodontists. The Hawley retainer is the most commonly used variety. It is molded to fit over the six anterior teeth of the patient's mouth with the plastic fitting to the roof of the mouth. The wires are adjustable and can by changed according to the movement of the patient's teeth.

The Vacuum-formed retainer, also call the Essix retainer, is quite common as well. This plastic appliance is custom made, is clear, contains no wires and fits over the front of the top teeth. Thermo-formed, or Zendura retainers are also formed out of clear polyurethane that is barely detectable.

A fixed retainer differs from the previous three examples in that it cannot be removed by the patient. As the name implies, this retainer is fixed to the mouth with wires. In some cases, this is a permanent part of the patient's procedure and is used in more extreme cases when the chance of the teeth reversing course is high.

In addition to wearing retainers, there are other orthodontic appliances that your dentist may prescribe to you. Bite plates, mouth guards, headgear and rubber bands may also be a necessary part of this corrective procedure. Each of these appliances will have their own wear and care instructions that will be explained to you by your orthodontist.

Your Smile: Before Braces, and After

July 16th, 2014

Sometimes the difference in before and after braces photos can be quite amazing. The results can be dramatic especially for those patients that suffered from seriously misaligned teeth. The severity certainly differs among individuals which will make the end results even more noteworthy for some people, but any improvement to your smile is well worth the cost of the procedure.

The difference is all in the smile. Many people who need corrective braces, but who have not gone through the procedure, are afraid to smile. They are embarrassed by the appearance of their teeth and are reluctant to show them. This reluctance can, and often does, send certain signals out to people when we meet them for the first time. Unfortunately, if you are afraid to smile, this may give the false impression of unfriendliness or shyness.

Braces help realign and straighten teeth that may be growing in at improper angles. Wearing braces will also help correct the bites of the people who wear them. Not only does this benefit the patient for chewing food, but it also can improve speech as well as confidence. Correcting crooked teeth can help prevent jaw problems and prevent bite patterns that may wear down the teeth and gums. If you've ever seen a before and after picture of people who have experienced this type of orthodontic procedure, you have seen the difference they can make.

When looking at pictures of people before and after they've worn the corrective braces, you will notice a definite improvement in appearance. You can detect as well, the air of confidence these people  give off as a result of an improved smile. It is not a forced smile, they smile with their whole faces and not just their mouths. Despite the fears that people may associate with wearing braces, the reality is quite different and it is worth any minor inconvenience that may be encountered.

The Allure of Colored Braces

July 16th, 2014

So your orthodontist just recommended that your wear braces. Don't worry. It's not the end of the world. In fact, did you know that wearing braces no longer means that you have to be stuck with the boring old metal wires and brackets that your parents may have had to endure? It is now possible for you to express your own individuality and show off your creative spirit by choosing different colors for your braces. Having control over the appearance of your braces certainly puts a little more fun back into the prospect of wearing them.

Dr. Yakov Eisenberger understands this. After years of fitting his patients with corrective dental braces, which often they have been less than thrilled with the way it looks on them, he has witnessed the enthusiasm that the option of different braces colors gives them.

How do you go about choosing the right braces colors for your mouth? There are colors around you, everywhere you look and everywhere you go. What colors speak to you? What do you want to convey? Light, bright, festive, subdued, neutral? The choice is yours and the possibilities are endless. It just requires a little imagination. First and foremost, it's a matter of personal style and preference. What do you want your braces to say about you? Maybe you can start by thinking about what your favorite colors are? You don't have to choose just one. Ask your orthodontist to show you a color wheel or look one up online. This will help you discover what's out there and available to you. This can also help you mix and match and make sure that the colors you are thinking of compliment each other.

Now that you have chosen your own braces colors, don't be afraid to smile and show them to the world!

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