Braces aren’t the only solution to help teeth get into and remain in their ideal alignment. In fact, with early intervention through retainers or other oral appliances, Dr. Dale can use more conservative treatment to help your child have confidence in their smile for the long term. To learn more about how retainers and other orthodontic appliances can help you or your child get the straight results you want, keep reading below. Then, when you’re ready to get started, contact our team to schedule an appointment!
Retainers/Orthodontic Appliances – Chicago, IL
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If your child has already undergone orthodontic treatment with braces or other oral appliances, you want the results to stay for the long term. That’s where a removeable retainer comes in. At first, your child will wear the retainers all the time—taking them out only for eating, drinking, and oral care—to help their teeth become established in their position. At a certain point, Dr. Dale will then instruct your child to wear the retainers while they sleep to ensure that their straight teeth don’t regress.
One of the major challenges of removeable retainers, especially for children and teens, is that they can easily become misplaced or lost. In some cases, Dr. Dale can use a fixed retainer, which consists of a stainless steel wire, to help teeth stay in place. A fixed retainer is permanently bonded to the back surfaces of the front teeth, so it is much more discreet. Although this solution can make flossing more challenging, it is a reliable way to make sure that teeth remain perfectly aligned.
For some patients, the upper jaw needs to be expanded to accommodate all teeth without overcrowding. A rapid palatal expander (RPE) is an oral appliance that attaches to the molars. Using a key, you can turn the center of the appliance to apply steady pressure on both sides of the upper jaw, widening the palate to create more space for teeth as your child grows.
Although sucking on their thumb can help your child self-soothe, it could impact their oral development. A thumb crib can be used to deter this habit by blocking the thumb from fully entering the mouth and the tongue from thrusting the front teeth forward. Although this appliance attaches to back molars for stability, the bulk of the thumb crib appears toward the front of the mouth. As a result, this oral appliance can help children overcome deeply engrained habits and have healthier oral development in the future.