Types of Orthodontic Appliances
Whether it’s early or later on in life – whether it’s a young child or an adult…even a professional athlete- people find themselves in need of orthodontic work
There are several types of orthodontic equipment that patients may use. It all depends on their situation, though. What may work for one may not work for others. Also, they may find themselves using more than one of these over the course of their time with the orthodontist.
These are the things that stay in one’s mouth for a long period of time, like months or even years. They will need periodic check-ups and retunings.
- Braces – These are among the most prevalent types of orthodontic equipment used. Either metal or clear ceramic brackets are glued to the front of all the patient’s teeth and then wires are run through them around the mouth. The wires gently start pushing the teeth to the positions they need to be in. Regular visits are needed to ensure that the wires are tight enough.
- Retainers – While these can also fall into the category below, there can be retainers that are bonded to the lower front teeth. This is for people who tend to forget to wear their other retainer and have had teeth start to shift again.
- Headgear – This is primarily to keep one’s jaw from developing a serious overbite. Metal bands are put in each side of the patient’s mouth and then the metal device, which looks like a thin version of a bar on a football helmet Is inserted into holes in the band. A strap on the back of the head keeps it in place. It can either be worn during the day or at night, depending on what the orthodontist says.
- Invisalign – A series of custom-made mouthguards are created, with the purpose of gradually shifting one’s teeth into a good spot. They are worn all day but can be removed for eating – though teeth need to be brushed each time.
- Retainer: This is a custom-fitted piece of plastic with a metal front that snaps onto either the roof of one’s mouth or the lower teeth and are used to ensure that the progress from previous orthodontic work is not lost.
Nightguard – This is used to protect against things like bruxism, or grinding of the teeth at night. If left unchecked, this can wear down teeth and also cause things like headaches.