Dr. Ben has all kinds of oral appliances available for addressing specific issues and protecting your or your loved one’s long-term oral health. Naturally, this includes removable and fixed retainers that ensure that the benefits of braces or clear aligners last for years to come. Call Grayslake Orthodontics today or submit a consultation request online to ask about the different services we offer for realigning your or your child’s bite.
Teeth will move after an orthodontic treatment has finished; this is called relapse, and it can easily undo all the work spent adjusting your smile. That’s why we’ll give you a retainers to hold your teeth in place after the main orthodontic treatment is complete. In many cases, your retainers will be removable. The removable retainers will usually be worn at night and will need to be worn regularly forever (or until you no longer care about having straight teeth).
A fixed retainer is a thin wire that’s attached to the back of your front teeth. It is normally recommended for the six lower front teeth, although one can also be used to hold the upper four front teeth in place as well. If there was a gap in your smile before, a fixed retainer can be a good option to stop the gap from reappearing. Bear in mind that fixed retainers only protect certain teeth. They are always used in conjunction with nighttime removable retainers for the best results.
Sometimes, the jaw needs a little extra guidance as it develops. Headgear is used to correct severe overbites and underbites in young children by gently pulling on the teeth, directing and stimulating the growth of the jawbone to create a healthy bite. We may recommend this treatment to protect your little one from needing corrective jaw surgery later in life. However, keep in mind that headgear only works for children that are still growing.
If there is not enough room in your child’s mouth, their teeth could become crowded, or they may develop a crossbite (meaning the top teeth come down inside of the lower teeth). Sometimes, teeth might even become trapped underneath the gums. However, it’s possible to use a palatal expander to widen the upper jaw and create the amount of room needed for proper dental development. This treatment can be applied in conjunction with metal braces.
While it’s common for infants and toddlers to suck their thumbs or pacifiers, a long-term habit may cause a variety of orthodontic issues once their teeth start to appear. To prevent this, Dr. Ben may recommend attaching an appliance called a thumb crib to the upper molars designed to stop the thumb from touching the gum tissue behind the front teeth. As a result, thumb-sucking becomes less rewarding for a child thus breaking the habit.