Additional Treatments | Orthodontic Arts
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Additional Treatments

What does my expander do?

The upper jaw is formed by two halves, which are separated by a "seam" down the middle of the palate. The palatal expander is designed to apply a gentle pressure to widen both halves of the upper jaw over time. This results in the bone growing to this new width

How often should I turn the screw of my expander?

On average, it takes two to three weeks of turning the expander two to three times a day to achieve the best results. However, this varies from person to person. We will provide you with a customized plan for your expansion. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions and call the office if you have any questions.

Does turning the expander hurt?

You may experience pressure or tenderness near the bridge of your nose and out toward your cheekbones; this is normal. An over-the-counter pain reliever should help with any discomfort.

How will the expander affect my teeth?

Most patients will notice a space developing between the upper front teeth as they continue to turn the expander. This is normal and a good indicator that the bones are widening. The size of the space may vary from patient to patient, but once you have completed your expansion, the space will close.

How long will I wear the expander?

On average, patients wear the expander four to six months, allowing the bones to fill into the expansion areas and decreasing the chance of expansion relapse.

What should I do if I miss my first appointment after receiving my expander?

Reschedule for as soon as possible and stop turning your expander. This will prevent the upper jaw from widening too much and too fast.

What else do I need to know?

Clean your expander often and avoid hard or sticky foods. If you have any questions or concerns throughout your treatment, please contact our office.

Stretched bands. Straightened teeth.
What do intraoral elastics do?

Elastic bands are attached to braces or Invisalign® to move teeth in a specific, planned direction.

How often should I wear the elastic bands?

Elastics are most effective when worn full time, 24 hours a day, unless otherwise instructed. We will provide you with the size of elastic bands and placement instructions best for your unique dental needs.

Do intraoral elastics hurt?

Wearing elastic bands may make your teeth feel sore, but the discomfort should resolve in a few days. Remember, you should wear your bands all the time, even when eating. If this isn't possible, replace your bands with new bands as soon as possible.

What else do I need to know?

Follow your doctor's instructions. Never switch the sizes of your bands or wear more than you are instructed to wear, as this could cause your teeth to move the wrong way. Always plan ahead: Take extra elastics to school, work or on vacation. If you run out of elastics before your next appointment, call our office, and we will mail you more. If your braces or Invisalign break or become loose from the elastics, make an appointment immediately.

You're almost to the finish line.
What do finishing elastics do?

Finishing elastic bands move your teeth into their final, straight position.

How often should I wear the finishing elastics?

Finishing elastics should be worn 24 hours a day for your instructed length of time, usually a few weeks. It takes about 10 hours for teeth to start moving with the finishing elastics. If the elastics are removed for even 30 minutes, the clock restarts. This is why continuous wear is so important.

Do finishing elastics hurt?

Your teeth may be sore for a few days after you get the finishing elastics placed, but this discomfort should subside after this time.

What else do I need to know?

You can eat without the bands, but replace them as soon as you have finished. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you notice spacing or other unusual changes in your teeth, contact the office.

Maintain your beautiful, healthy smile and prevent the return of misalignment.
What does my retainer do?

After your braces come off, your retainer helps keep your teeth in their correct positions. The bone surrounding the teeth is new and softer around you straight teeth. The retainer will hold teeth straight as the bone strengthens.

How often should I wear my retainer?

For the first six months, you will wear your retainer 24 hours a day except while eating. After six months, you will wear your retainer while sleeping. Most patients will wear their retainers no less than five nights a week indefinitely.

How should I care for my retainer?

Brush your retainer with toothpaste when you brush your teeth or use denture cleaners. Always use cold water to clean your retainer; do not expose your retainer to heat. Never Microwave or boil your retainer. Store your retainer in its proper case when you're not wearing it.