Dr. Pat Cuozzo, our skilled orthodontist, offers a variety of appliances that accompany orthodontic treatments to straighten the teeth or correct over- or under-bites. A number of these appliances are helpful in providing the most optimal results, and some of them can be used by themselves to address a number of orthodontic issues. Contact Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists for more information.
Retainers can be fixed or removable and are placed after braces have been removed. They serve a vital purpose in keeping the new position of the teeth secure. The length of time retainers are needed to be worn typically depends on each individual case.
Headgear is useful in correcting over-and under-bites. To correct an overbite, the patient attaches a strap around the neck to the braces at night. Another type of headgear, called a face mask, is used to correct an underbite. The patient attaches this type to his/her braces or fixed appliance with elastics each night.
Rubber bands, or elastics, work with traditional orthodontic treatments such as braces. They can sometimes be vital to ensure the optimal success of your treatment, adding pressure to the jaws and teeth in order to align the bite.
An expander is fixed in place for several months to widen the upper jaw in order to correct a cross-bite or give the teeth more room to erupt inside the mouth. Here at Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists, we offer a state-of-the-art option called the Memoria® Leaf Spring Activated Expander. The Leaf Expander’s innovative, spring-loaded design can take a lot of the hassle and worry out of the hands of patients (and parents). It releases calibrated, continuous force that is made to be lighter and less uncomfortable when compared to other types of expanders. Once the Leaf Expander is fitted and placed in the patient’s mouth, a week later it is activated. After that, the device is self-activating, so moms and dads do not have to turn the expander at home. The spring is easily reactivated in our office approximately every four weeks.
Sometimes, orthodontic appliances can cause soreness and discomfort in the mouth, issues that can often be addressed at home. However, if an appliance breaks, patients should contact Dr. Cuozzo’s office for help and to avoid any delays in treatment that could make the problem worse.
Here are some examples of orthodontic emergencies, and how they can be treated:
Bent Facebow (Headgear)
In this instance, you should call Dr. Cuozzo’s office for help. The headgear should not be worn until after you’ve consulted with Dr. Cuozzo.
This may be the result of not properly wearing the headgear. Typically, headgear feels more comfortable after time spent getting used to it. If the problem persists, please call Dr. Cuozzo’s office.
Sometimes, new appliances and adjustments can cause discomfort or soreness in the lips, teeth, tongue, and cheeks. Warm saltwater rinses, dental wax, and over-the-counter pain relievers may help; however, Dr. Cuozzo’s office should be contacted if pain and discomfort persist.
Dental wax covering the part of the appliance hurting the mouth is often a quick remedy for loose appliances.
Dental wax can help in these instances; and tweezers can be used to adjust the wire back into its proper place.
Jutting or Poking Wire
Dental wax can provide short-term relief to the area of the jutting wire. The wire can be pushed down with a pencil eraser until corrected by Dr. Cuozzo at your next appointment.
Loose Band or Bracket
In cases of a loose band or bracket, an appointment at our office should be scheduled for repair. Please bring any broken parts of your braces with you to your repair appointment. In cases where the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, dental wax can typically be applied to keep you comfortable until your repair appointment.
As always, you should contact our orthodontics office with any questions or concerns. We will be happy to answer any questions concerning problems with appliances, and/or schedule a repair visit.