If for any reason one or a few baby teeth are lost before their successor permanent teeth are ready to grow in, we have to preserve the space, otherwise, other teeth will shift to that space and prevent the future permanent teeth from erupting normally. There are a few different types of space maintainers. Utilizing the right one at the right time will make any future orthodontic treatment shorter and more straight forward.
The advantage of the above space maintainers is that they are independent of the baby teeth. Fortunately, we do not need to replace them each time another baby tooth is lost. Sometimes Dr. Amin and Dr.Vaziri recommend keeping them in place until all of the baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth.
There are different appliances in this category that serve the same purpose. When the upper jaw is too narrow, an orthodontist is able to broaden one’s smile by using an expander of one's choice.
If an expander is used on a young and growing individual, age 8-15, it will function not only to move teeth (orthodontic movement), but also to favorably modify the shape of the bone (orthopedic movement). This functional modification is slow and gradual that will happen over a course of 6-8 months with no discomfort for the patient.
For use when there is a constricted upper arch along with an underbite. It is mainly a palatal expander with the extra ability to move the upper front teeth forward. Like a palatal expander, it works best in young and growing patients.
It is used to widen the lower dental arch if the lower dental arch is too narrow. The expansion also allows us to make more room for the remaining permanent teeth that have not erupted yet. Unlike the maxillary expander, there will not be any orthopedic expansion.
When an orthodontist is planning to move some teeth and hold some other teeth stationary they can utilize anchorage devices. TPA is one of those appliances. As shown in the video, by utilizing a TPA, Dr. Amin and Dr. Vaziri are able to hold the back teeth in their place while pulling the front teeth back to close the space between teeth.
Thumb-sucking should stop by age 6 otherwise it can have a dramatic impact on the shape of the jaw bones and alignment of the teeth. Unfortunately, many home remedies do not work and kids will continue sucking their thumbs beyond this critical age leaving them with a long-lasting distortion of the jaws and malalignment of the teeth.
A custom made and nicely designed habit breaker will make it impossible for thumb suckers to fit their thumbs on their palates. By creating this interference, we can help them stop the habit completely. Sometimes breaking the habit is all the teeth need to naturally move to a more desirable position.
With the help of these appliances, we train the tongue not to come between the front teeth during swallowing or speaking. Depending on the tongue thrusting condition and how we have to train the tongue, we will use one of the following designs at AvA Orthodontics
Forsus VS Headgear
Depending on where the underlying cause is, to correct the overbite we need to either push the upper teeth backward or move the lower jaw forward. This is possible with a few appliances, the most well-known of which is the headgear.
We don’t use headgear at AvA Orthodontics because it is not as patient friendly. It is extra oral (meaning outside of the mouth) so everyone can see it. We believe it is too much to ask a patient to wear it for 14 hours a day. Therefore, we utilize another appliance called Forsus. Unlike headgear, Forsus is an intraoral appliance, hardly noticeable, and not removable. It doesn't interfere with eating, chewing or speaking.
As shown on the video, the coil spring applies a constant and mild pressure to the lower jaw and stimulates its growth while pulling the upper teeth backward.