Different types of appliances, fixed or removable, can be used to help move teeth. These appliances place gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws to affect significant movement over time. The severity of the orthodontic problem will determine which orthodontic approach is used.
Several types of appliances may be used and can include any of the following:
Braces are the most common fixed appliance used in orthodontics. They consist of bands, wires and/or metal brackets. Bands are fixed around the teeth anchoring the whole appliance, while brackets will frequently be bonded to the front of the tooth. Archwires are passed through the brackets and fixed to the bands. Today's braces are smaller, lighter, and less metallic than in the past. They are produced with bright colors for kids as well as the “clear look” preferred by many adults.
Special fixed appliances
These are most often used to control thumb sucking and/or tongue thrusting, these devices are fixed to the teeth by bands.
Fixed space maintainers
These are used when a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer can be used to keep the gap open until the permanent tooth erupts. A band is fixed to the tooth next to the empty space, and a wire extends out to the tooth on the other side of the space.
This is a device used to expand the arch of the upper jaw. A plastic plate is fitted over the roof of the mouth. Outward pressure on the plate forces the joints in the bones of the palate to open up lengthwise, thereby widening the palatal area.