Dentistry Day

Oral Appliances for Braces in Parsippany

kids with braces Braces straighten out the teeth to facilitate eating and speaking and to enhance the appearance of your smile. Before beginning or after completing treatment with braces in Parsippany, children and adults alike may need to have an orthodontic appliance like an expander, tongue/thumb crib, or a retainer. These devices are used to reduce future treatment times with braces or ensure that the teeth stay where they should be after the braces have been removed. Keep reading to learn more about how each of these oral appliances work!

What Is an Expander? How Does It Work?

girl holding a retainerThe roof of the mouth is one of the most important features of your oral cavity. Its width affects everything from how your teeth look to how the TMJ (temporomandibular, or jaw, joint) functions. If the palate is too narrow during childhood, there may not be enough room for the permanent teeth to erupt. A palate expander can help -- it is a stainless steel appliance that is inserted into the roof of the mouth. The palate expander may be used during childhood to widen the palate and improve the alignment of the bite. By exerting outward pressure on the molars and premolars, the expander encourages growth of new bone tissue in the palate. This widens the upper jaw for improved bite alignment.

What Is a Tongue/Thumb Crib? How Does It Work?

child sucking her thumb Thumbsucking and tongue thrusting, or pushing the tongue through the teeth when swallowing, are two common habits during childhood. Most kids will grow out of these habits on their own, but if they don’t, thumbsucking and tongue thrusting can cause real issues for the development of the mouth that may require complex orthodontic treatment later on.

If you find it difficult to break these habits for your child, a tongue/thumb crib can help. It is a metal appliance that is affixed directly behind the teeth the prevent the forward motion of the tongue (preventing thrusting) and to block the space for the thumb (stopping thumbsucking).

What Is a Retainer? How Does It Work?

A retainer is a device that is used to keep the teeth in place after treatment with braces, including traditional braces and Invisalign, is complete. Without a retainer, the teeth with gradually move back into their original position. Most people will need to wear the retainer around the clock right after the braces are removed, but can gradually be reduced to nightwear only after several months. Used properly, a retainer will keep the teeth where they should be for a lifetime after the initial treatment with braces is complete.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

Your orthodontist in Parsippany offers comprehensive treatments, including with orthodontic appliances. To learn more about why they are needed or how you can improve the alignment of your smile, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us! Schedule an appointment at Rauchberg Dental today.