Thanks to today’s technology, patients now have more options when it comes to wearing braces. While regular metal braces are still widely used, clear braces are becoming increasingly popular along with removable appliances that can be used for mild cases of misaligned teeth.
Read below about the types of braces we offer at our office and speak with Dr. Oates to determine which appliance is right for you.
An Eureka Spring is a small orthodontic spring that is an alternative to elastics. This type of spring is effective in rapidly treating “gummy smiles” and Class II and Class III orthodontic issues. Made of metal, this spring has a telescoping plunger that exerts force on the teeth. Encased in the telescoping plunger is the open-wound coil spring.
The Eureka Spring is easy to insert and remove. Additional benefits include decreased treatment time and better patient compliance – after all, you don’t have to worry about putting in and changing your elastics!
The M2M (molar to molar) appliance helps patients whose upper teeth protrude forward as a result of having a small lower jaw. Similar in appearance to the Herbst appliance but smaller, this appliance helps the lower jaw catch up in growth by preventing it from moving backward. It repositions the lower jaw forward.
As with all kinds of braces, patients with M2M appliances need to be careful about what they eat. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and candy suckers will pull the appliance away from the teeth. Hard foods like crisp vegetables and hard candies will bend and loosen the M2M appliance, too. It is important to avoid these foods during your orthodontic treatment.
The Forsus appliance is used in order to help move the upper molars back while moving the lower arch forward. Composed of a spring coil rod, the appliance is used while a patient is currently wearing braces. It runs from the upper first molar band down to the lower archwire.
You may notice some discomfort initially, so we recommend a soft food diet for the first few days after the appliance is placed. Regular anti-inflammatory medication may help with any pain, if needed. It is important to keep the appliance clean; you may do this by carefully brushing the coil and other metal pieces of the appliance. Also, we recommend that patients not open their mouths very wide, as the appliance may come apart.
If your Forsus appliance breaks, please contact our office immediately to schedule a repair appointment.
Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the 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 of the palatal expander, 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.
An archwire is a wire engaged in orthodontic attachments, affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth and capable of causing or guiding tooth movement. These wires can be made from different materials – including titanium. Generally used at the beginning of treatment, titanium wires exert a constant, gentle force on the teeth to begin to move and align them.
These wires can be heat activated. At room temperature, the soft, pliable wire is placed along the misaligned teeth. Once warmed by body temperature, the arch wire slowly springs back to its original form, gently straightening your teeth. These high-tech wires enable teeth to move quicker with less discomfort and fewer trips to the orthodontist.
Copper Ni-Ti Wires
Copper Ni-Ti wires are heat activated nickel-titanium wires. These wires are used mainly at the beginning of treatment when teeth are crooked and need to be moved. This type of wire is a shape-memory wire. Outside of the mouth, this wire is very flexible and soft. But once inside the mouth, when it is warmed, the wire becomes hard and returns to its normal shape. The copper in this wire enhances the thermal reactive properties of nickel titanium.
With the Copper Ni-Ti wires, the temperature of the patient’s mouth heats the wire which then applies gradual pressure to the tooth. This pressure moves the teeth to the correct position. Like the titanium wires, these wires do not have to be changed as often – resulting in less orthodontic visits!