Whether you are an orthodontist or a patient, it is important to be familiar with the different types of orthodontic appliances available. Orthodontic appliances are devices that are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles, and/or hold teeth in place. They are custom-made for each patient and can be removable or fixed.
Classification of Orthodontic Appliances
Orthodontic appliances can be classified as either removable or fixed. Removable appliances are ones that can be taken out of the mouth for cleaning, eating, and other activities. Fixed appliances are bonded to the teeth and cannot be removed by the patient.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common orthodontic appliances.
Braces are one of the most common types of orthodontic appliances. They are made up of metal brackets that are glued to the teeth and connected by a wire. The wire is then tightened or loosened in order to apply pressure to the teeth and move them into the correct position. Braces can be worn for several months to a few years, depending on the severity of the case.
Retainers are another common type of orthodontic appliance. They are usually made out of plastic and metal wires and they fit snugly over the teeth. Retainers are used to hold teeth in place after braces have been removed or other dental work has been done. They can also be used to treat very mild cases of misaligned teeth. Retainers need to be worn for a certain amount of time each day and they should only be removed when eating, brushing, or flossing.
Headgear is an orthodontic appliance that is used to treat more severe cases of misaligned teeth. It is made up of a metal frame that goes around the head and is attached to a metal wire that goes around the face. Headgear is worn for several hours each day and it applies pressure to the teeth in order to move them into place.
There are many different types of orthodontic appliances available, each with its own purpose. Braces are used to straighten teeth, retainers help keep teeth in place, and headgear applies pressure to move teeth into place. No matter what your specific needs are, there is an orthodontic appliance that can help!