Types of Braces & Appliances

Types of Braces | Appliances

Types of Braces

 


Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most common type of braces. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today's metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive than ever.

Time® Brackets

The Time bracket system, which is manufactured by American Orthodontics, utilizes “sliding-door” technology known as self-ligation and allows the wire to slide back and forth within the bracket. No elastic or steel ties are needed with Time brackets. This technology creates less friction and results in greater comfort for the patient. Time brackets are among the most advanced technology currently available in orthodontics. Benefits include reduced treatment time and reduced number of adjustments and visits to the orthodontist’s office.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material and are most popular with adult patients because of their cosmetic appeal. A more discreet option than traditional metal braces, ceramic braces are just as effective and resilient as their metal counterparts. While the actual brackets themselves are clear, it is still necessary to wear a metal wire to connect them.

Clarity™

Clarity brackets by 3M Unitek are the perfect combination of aesthetics and functionality. Clarity brackets utilize state-of-the-art technology that provides for strength, sliding mechanics and ease of removal equal to metal braces. The semi-transparent color will not stain, and the smooth, rounded shape allows for greater patient comfort.

Clear Aligner Braces

Clear aligner systems are an aesthetic treatment for straightening and realigning teeth without the use of brackets and wires used with traditional braces. These systems involve a series of clear overlay templates—called aligners—that fit snuggly over the teeth and are changed out to gradually move teeth into a desired position. Clear aligners are nearly invisible and are comfortable to wear. They also can be easily removed to eat, drink, brush and floss.

Invisalign®

The Invisalign system is the most well-known clear aligner system available today. The system uses advanced 3-D computer-imaging technology to depict a complete treatment plan, from the initial position of teeth to the final desired position. Then a series of clear aligners are custom-made with exact calculations to gradually shift teeth into place. Aligners are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the appropriate placement of controlled force to shift teeth. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series, until the final position is achieved. Invisalign treatment time is determined by the doctor, based on specific patient needs. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. The orthodontist can help you determine if the Invisalign system is the correct treatment option for you.

Simpli5

The Simpli5 clear aligner system is an ideal solution for those wanting to correct mild spacing and crowding issues in a more discreet manner. Made with precise 3-D imaging technology, the Simpli5 system consists of five sets of aligners that are nearly invisible to the naked eye and are very lightweight. Each set of aligners are worn for three to four weeks, gradually moving the patient’s teeth into the desired position. Depending on the amount of tooth movement required, total treatment time averages four to six months. The orthodontist can help you determine if Simpli5 is the correct treatment option for you.

Back to top

Appliances

Headgear

Headgear is an appliance often used to correct an excessive overbite. Headgear puts pressure on the upper teeth and jaw in an attempt to slow down the growth of the upper jaw and allow the lower jaw the opportunity to catch up to it. The severity of the overbite determines the length of time the orthodontist recommends that headgear be worn.

The key to success with the headgear appliance is consistency. Headgear must be worn at least 14 hours a day. The more it is worn, the more effective it is. It is not necessary to wear headgear to school, but it should be worn almost all of the time when not at school, even while sleeping. If a day of wearing headgear is skipped altogether, it should be worn all day the following day. Headgear should never be worn while playing sports, eating or brushing your teeth.

Pendulum Appliance

The Pendulum appliance is used when there is a misalignment of teeth and/or incorrect relation between the upper and lower dental arches. The orthodontist uses this appliance to push molars back into alignment and to correct the patient’s bite on the side of their mouth. An acrylic “button” spans the roof of the mouth and is attached to resilient wire springs in the shape of broad swinging arcs. The appliance uses the roof of the mouth as an anchor to move the molars back into their correct positions. Two bands are cemented onto the first molars to hold the appliance in place. The Pendulum appliance is permanent and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients usually wear the Pendulum appliance for three to five months to achieve optimal results. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Nance Appliance

The Nance appliance is used to stabilize or hold teeth in position and maintain valuable space. It may be used to prevent the upper molars from rotating or moving forward after headgear or another appliance is used to move molars back, or to keep molars from drifting forward while premolars grow into place.

This appliance consists of two bands that are cemented onto the first molars and a wire that spans the roof of the mouth from one molar to the other. An acrylic “button” covers the wire that touches the roof of the mouth directly behind the front teeth. The Nance appliance is permanent and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Lip Bumpers

Dr. Wilson likes to avoid pulling teeth as often as possible, so he uses lip bumpers on his patients who need to create more room for their crowded teeth. The lip bumper is a wire on the lower jaw that extends from one molar to another and keeps lips and cheeks from touching your teeth. When you move your mouth or speak, your lips and cheeks push on the bumper, and the bumper applies pressure to the teeth. This pressure pushes the molars back, creating more space for overcrowded teeth.

If you have a lip bumper, please remember to leave it in while eating, but do not eat hard or sticky foods. Proper, thorough brushing should remove any food that gets stuck in your lip bumper.

Lingual Arch

A Lingual Arch is a space maintainer designed to hold and preserve valuable space in the mouth. When baby teeth are lost early or extracted to make room for permanent teeth to erupt more naturally, this appliance helps ensure no space is lost and teeth do not drift into the wrong position while permanent teeth grow in. This appliance is particularly valuable to those with crowding. It consists of two bands that are cemented onto the lower first molars and a wire that arcs around the length of the lower dental arch. A Lingual Arch is permanent and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients should brush around the bands and wire daily.

Rapid Palatal Expander

A Rapid Palatal Expander, sometimes known as just an “expander” or “spacer,” is used to widen the upper jaw so that the upper and lower teeth will fit together better. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw, which can result in a crossbite, or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch. It is most effective when used while a patient is still growing, generally between the ages of 8 and 10 years old. During this time, the connective tissue between the left and right halves of the upper jaw is very responsive to expansion.

The appliance consists of two bands that are cemented onto the upper first molars and wires that connect to an expansion screw in the center. Acrylic material covers the wires and spans the roof of the mouth. The expander is activated by turning a screw in the center of the appliance using a special key that we provide. Dr. Wilson will instruct you on how many times and how often the key should be turned. Turning the screw places gradual outward pressure on the left and right halves of the upper jaw, causing an increased amount of bone to grow between them and ultimately resulting in an increased width. A Rapid Palatal Expander is a permanent appliance and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Elastics

Elastics, also known as rubber bands, are attached to brackets and use pressure to move teeth and/or adjust the bite. Elastics are a crucial step in the orthodontic treatment process. In order for them to work effectively, elastics should be worn constantly and need to be changed every 12 hours, or twice a day. Elastics can be worn while eating. If it becomes too difficult, remove the elastics while eating and replace them immediately when finished. In order to prevent the delay of treatment, elastics should be worn exactly as instructed. Elastics should be removed only when brushing after meals and replaced immediately.

Carrière Distalizer

The Carrière Distalizer is the latest in orthodontic technology available for Class II bite correction by Class One Orthodontics. A Class II bite is when the upper and lower back teeth are unable to chew or bite correctly. One of the jaws is usually shorter or longer than the other, resulting in an overbite. The Carrière Distalizer makes a complex case easier by correcting the bite at the beginning of treatment, before braces are added to straighten the teeth. This appliance is much simpler and more comfortable to wear than similar orthodontic appliances, such as headgear or the Herbst appliance, and is just as effective. Its low-profile design increases compliance and offers a more discreet look.

The device is bonded, or cemented, to the canine teeth and the upper molars on each side. It also consists of two bands that are cemented onto the lower first molars. Elastics, or rubber bands, are hooked from the canine teeth to the lower molars. Constant pressure generated by the elastics is used to gently move the upper teeth back into a normal chewing position. Elastics can be worn while eating and should be worn constantly in order for the appliance to work effectively. They should be changed every 12 hours, or twice a day. Elastics should be removed only when brushing after meals and replaced immediately.

The Carrière Distalizer is permanent and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Forsus Appliance

The Forsus appliance by 3M Unitek is used for Class II bite correction. A Class II bite is when the upper and lower back teeth are unable to chew or bite correctly. One of the jaws is usually shorter or longer than the other, resulting in an overbite. The appliance helps move the upper molars back while moving the lower arch forward. It is used while a patient is currently wearing braces and consists of a spring coil rod that runs from the upper first molar band down the lower archwire. Patients usually adapt quickly to the new way of opening and closing their jaw, as well as to chewing food. Patients should avoid opening their mouths too wide, however, because the appliance can come apart. If the Forsus appliance breaks, please contact our office immediately to schedule a repair appointment.

The Forsus appliance should not be removed except by the orthodontist. It is important to keep the appliance clean by carefully brushing the coil and other metal pieces of the appliance. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Retainers

Retainers are clear plastic, custom-made, removable appliances used to hold, or retain, teeth in position after orthodontic treatment. Made from a durable, transparent polypropylene, retainers are nearly invisible and fit snuggly over the entire length of each dental arch. Because retainers cover the entire surface of the teeth, the upper and lower teeth do not make direct contact. Impressions are taken at the same appointment when the braces are removed and used to make molds of the teeth. These molds are then used to create what is called vacuum-formed retainers, which fit each patient’s mouth exactly.

Retainers should be worn 24 hours a day following the removal of braces and only removed to eat or brush the teeth. The final orthodontic result depends on how regularly retainers are worn. Without retainers, teeth tend to try and shift back to their natural, crooked positions. Dr. Wilson does not accept responsibility for a patient who fails to wear his or her retainers following treatment or for lost or damaged retainers. Each patient is provided a retainer case in which to store their retainers. We suggest retainers only be put in the case when not in the mouth. Too often retainers are accidentally lost, thrown away or damaged because they are not in the case, and there is a charge for replacement retainers.

Dr. Wilson recommends how often retainers need to be worn for each individual patient, but the general rule of thumb is full time for three months immediately following the removal of braces and night time only after your first retainer-check visit to our office. Retainers should be worn indefinitely in order to prevent the teeth from shifting. Retainers should be brushed every day as part of a regular brushing and flossing routine.

Please see the Oral Hygiene page for more detailed information about caring for your retainer.

Back to top

Types of Braces | Appliances

Types of Braces

 


Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most common type of braces. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today's metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive than ever.

Time® Brackets

The Time bracket system, which is manufactured by American Orthodontics, utilizes “sliding-door” technology known as self-ligation and allows the wire to slide back and forth within the bracket. No elastic or steel ties are needed with Time brackets. This technology creates less friction and results in greater comfort for the patient. Time brackets are among the most advanced technology currently available in orthodontics. Benefits include reduced treatment time and reduced number of adjustments and visits to the orthodontist’s office.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material and are most popular with adult patients because of their cosmetic appeal. A more discreet option than traditional metal braces, ceramic braces are just as effective and resilient as their metal counterparts. While the actual brackets themselves are clear, it is still necessary to wear a metal wire to connect them.

Clarity™

Clarity brackets by 3M Unitek are the perfect combination of aesthetics and functionality. Clarity brackets utilize state-of-the-art technology that provides for strength, sliding mechanics and ease of removal equal to metal braces. The semi-transparent color will not stain, and the smooth, rounded shape allows for greater patient comfort.

Clear Aligner Braces

Clear aligner systems are an aesthetic treatment for straightening and realigning teeth without the use of brackets and wires used with traditional braces. These systems involve a series of clear overlay templates—called aligners—that fit snuggly over the teeth and are changed out to gradually move teeth into a desired position. Clear aligners are nearly invisible and are comfortable to wear. They also can be easily removed to eat, drink, brush and floss.

Invisalign®

The Invisalign system is the most well-known clear aligner system available today. The system uses advanced 3-D computer-imaging technology to depict a complete treatment plan, from the initial position of teeth to the final desired position. Then a series of clear aligners are custom-made with exact calculations to gradually shift teeth into place. Aligners are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the appropriate placement of controlled force to shift teeth. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series, until the final position is achieved. Invisalign treatment time is determined by the doctor, based on specific patient needs. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. The orthodontist can help you determine if the Invisalign system is the correct treatment option for you.

Simpli5

The Simpli5 clear aligner system is an ideal solution for those wanting to correct mild spacing and crowding issues in a more discreet manner. Made with precise 3-D imaging technology, the Simpli5 system consists of five sets of aligners that are nearly invisible to the naked eye and are very lightweight. Each set of aligners are worn for three to four weeks, gradually moving the patient’s teeth into the desired position. Depending on the amount of tooth movement required, total treatment time averages four to six months. The orthodontist can help you determine if Simpli5 is the correct treatment option for you.

Back to top

Appliances

Headgear

Headgear is an appliance often used to correct an excessive overbite. Headgear puts pressure on the upper teeth and jaw in an attempt to slow down the growth of the upper jaw and allow the lower jaw the opportunity to catch up to it. The severity of the overbite determines the length of time the orthodontist recommends that headgear be worn.

The key to success with the headgear appliance is consistency. Headgear must be worn at least 14 hours a day. The more it is worn, the more effective it is. It is not necessary to wear headgear to school, but it should be worn almost all of the time when not at school, even while sleeping. If a day of wearing headgear is skipped altogether, it should be worn all day the following day. Headgear should never be worn while playing sports, eating or brushing your teeth.

Pendulum Appliance

The Pendulum appliance is used when there is a misalignment of teeth and/or incorrect relation between the upper and lower dental arches. The orthodontist uses this appliance to push molars back into alignment and to correct the patient’s bite on the side of their mouth. An acrylic “button” spans the roof of the mouth and is attached to resilient wire springs in the shape of broad swinging arcs. The appliance uses the roof of the mouth as an anchor to move the molars back into their correct positions. Two bands are cemented onto the first molars to hold the appliance in place. The Pendulum appliance is permanent and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients usually wear the Pendulum appliance for three to five months to achieve optimal results. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Nance Appliance

The Nance appliance is used to stabilize or hold teeth in position and maintain valuable space. It may be used to prevent the upper molars from rotating or moving forward after headgear or another appliance is used to move molars back, or to keep molars from drifting forward while premolars grow into place.

This appliance consists of two bands that are cemented onto the first molars and a wire that spans the roof of the mouth from one molar to the other. An acrylic “button” covers the wire that touches the roof of the mouth directly behind the front teeth. The Nance appliance is permanent and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Lip Bumpers

Dr. Wilson likes to avoid pulling teeth as often as possible, so he uses lip bumpers on his patients who need to create more room for their crowded teeth. The lip bumper is a wire on the lower jaw that extends from one molar to another and keeps lips and cheeks from touching your teeth. When you move your mouth or speak, your lips and cheeks push on the bumper, and the bumper applies pressure to the teeth. This pressure pushes the molars back, creating more space for overcrowded teeth.

If you have a lip bumper, please remember to leave it in while eating, but do not eat hard or sticky foods. Proper, thorough brushing should remove any food that gets stuck in your lip bumper.

Lingual Arch

A Lingual Arch is a space maintainer designed to hold and preserve valuable space in the mouth. When baby teeth are lost early or extracted to make room for permanent teeth to erupt more naturally, this appliance helps ensure no space is lost and teeth do not drift into the wrong position while permanent teeth grow in. This appliance is particularly valuable to those with crowding. It consists of two bands that are cemented onto the lower first molars and a wire that arcs around the length of the lower dental arch. A Lingual Arch is permanent and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients should brush around the bands and wire daily.

Rapid Palatal Expander

A Rapid Palatal Expander, sometimes known as just an “expander” or “spacer,” is used to widen the upper jaw so that the upper and lower teeth will fit together better. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw, which can result in a crossbite, or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch. It is most effective when used while a patient is still growing, generally between the ages of 8 and 10 years old. During this time, the connective tissue between the left and right halves of the upper jaw is very responsive to expansion.

The appliance consists of two bands that are cemented onto the upper first molars and wires that connect to an expansion screw in the center. Acrylic material covers the wires and spans the roof of the mouth. The expander is activated by turning a screw in the center of the appliance using a special key that we provide. Dr. Wilson will instruct you on how many times and how often the key should be turned. Turning the screw places gradual outward pressure on the left and right halves of the upper jaw, causing an increased amount of bone to grow between them and ultimately resulting in an increased width. A Rapid Palatal Expander is a permanent appliance and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Elastics

Elastics, also known as rubber bands, are attached to brackets and use pressure to move teeth and/or adjust the bite. Elastics are a crucial step in the orthodontic treatment process. In order for them to work effectively, elastics should be worn constantly and need to be changed every 12 hours, or twice a day. Elastics can be worn while eating. If it becomes too difficult, remove the elastics while eating and replace them immediately when finished. In order to prevent the delay of treatment, elastics should be worn exactly as instructed. Elastics should be removed only when brushing after meals and replaced immediately.

Carrière Distalizer

The Carrière Distalizer is the latest in orthodontic technology available for Class II bite correction by Class One Orthodontics. A Class II bite is when the upper and lower back teeth are unable to chew or bite correctly. One of the jaws is usually shorter or longer than the other, resulting in an overbite. The Carrière Distalizer makes a complex case easier by correcting the bite at the beginning of treatment, before braces are added to straighten the teeth. This appliance is much simpler and more comfortable to wear than similar orthodontic appliances, such as headgear or the Herbst appliance, and is just as effective. Its low-profile design increases compliance and offers a more discreet look.

The device is bonded, or cemented, to the canine teeth and the upper molars on each side. It also consists of two bands that are cemented onto the lower first molars. Elastics, or rubber bands, are hooked from the canine teeth to the lower molars. Constant pressure generated by the elastics is used to gently move the upper teeth back into a normal chewing position. Elastics can be worn while eating and should be worn constantly in order for the appliance to work effectively. They should be changed every 12 hours, or twice a day. Elastics should be removed only when brushing after meals and replaced immediately.

The Carrière Distalizer is permanent and cannot be removed except by the orthodontist. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Forsus Appliance

The Forsus appliance by 3M Unitek is used for Class II bite correction. A Class II bite is when the upper and lower back teeth are unable to chew or bite correctly. One of the jaws is usually shorter or longer than the other, resulting in an overbite. The appliance helps move the upper molars back while moving the lower arch forward. It is used while a patient is currently wearing braces and consists of a spring coil rod that runs from the upper first molar band down the lower archwire. Patients usually adapt quickly to the new way of opening and closing their jaw, as well as to chewing food. Patients should avoid opening their mouths too wide, however, because the appliance can come apart. If the Forsus appliance breaks, please contact our office immediately to schedule a repair appointment.

The Forsus appliance should not be removed except by the orthodontist. It is important to keep the appliance clean by carefully brushing the coil and other metal pieces of the appliance. Patients should brush around the bands and appliance daily.

Retainers

Retainers are clear plastic, custom-made, removable appliances used to hold, or retain, teeth in position after orthodontic treatment. Made from a durable, transparent polypropylene, retainers are nearly invisible and fit snuggly over the entire length of each dental arch. Because retainers cover the entire surface of the teeth, the upper and lower teeth do not make direct contact. Impressions are taken at the same appointment when the braces are removed and used to make molds of the teeth. These molds are then used to create what is called vacuum-formed retainers, which fit each patient’s mouth exactly.

Retainers should be worn 24 hours a day following the removal of braces and only removed to eat or brush the teeth. The final orthodontic result depends on how regularly retainers are worn. Without retainers, teeth tend to try and shift back to their natural, crooked positions. Dr. Wilson does not accept responsibility for a patient who fails to wear his or her retainers following treatment or for lost or damaged retainers. Each patient is provided a retainer case in which to store their retainers. We suggest retainers only be put in the case when not in the mouth. Too often retainers are accidentally lost, thrown away or damaged because they are not in the case, and there is a charge for replacement retainers.

Dr. Wilson recommends how often retainers need to be worn for each individual patient, but the general rule of thumb is full time for three months immediately following the removal of braces and night time only after your first retainer-check visit to our office. Retainers should be worn indefinitely in order to prevent the teeth from shifting. Retainers should be brushed every day as part of a regular brushing and flossing routine.

Please see the Oral Hygiene page for more detailed information about caring for your retainer.

Back to top