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Types of Orthodontic Devices

We Have the Tools Your Smile Needs

Orthodontic appliances are responsible for moving your teeth or bite to achieve the desired results. These devices can be fixed, which means they are placed by your orthodontist and remain in your mouth at all times, or removable, which means you can take them out. The success of your treatment will depend on how well you care for your appliances and use them as intended. Patients who wear removable appliances as directed and keep their devices clean stay on track and complete treatment with fewer delays. 

The right device for you will depend on the severity of your orthodontic issues and your goals for treatment. When you receive an orthodontic device from Braces Omaha, we will walk you through how to wear it, care for it, and what to expect throughout your treatment. Contact our practice in Omaha, NE, today for a free consultation with Dr. Stevens. We will evaluate your smile and get you started on the journey to straighter teeth and better oral health.

Braces

Braces are fixed orthodontic appliances that gently shift teeth and align your bite. For traditional braces, metal brackets are glued to the surfaces of your teeth, connected by a wire. The wire is held in place with elastics, which you can choose the color of to personalize your braces. As the wire gets tightened, the brackets pull your teeth into alignment. Braces Omaha offers traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and WildSmiles® to make the braces experience fun for all ages.

Braces can correct a variety of problems such as dental crowding, bite problems, crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, impacted canine teeth, and are used in conjunction with jaw surgery. The average treatment time for braces is about 2 years, but this varies for everyone depending on the severity of the issues we are looking to address. 

Invisalign®

Invisalign straightens your teeth and corrects bite problems without the look or feel of traditional braces. You will wear a series of clear aligners that gradually put pressure on your teeth to move them. This is similar to braces, but does not require brackets or wires. The aligners are removable, so you will take them out to eat, brush your teeth, or play sports. This makes it easy to maintain good oral hygiene because you do not have to clean around appliances and can brush and floss normally. 

A huge advantage of Invisalign is that the aligners are virtually invisible. Some patients avoid orthodontic treatment because they don’t want to wear braces. Invisalign makes it possible for children, teens, and adults to straighten teeth discreetly and comfortably. Most people aren’t able to tell you’re even wearing them! 

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander widens the palate to create more room in the mouth. This device ensures there is enough room for all of the teeth and can correct bite issues. The ideal age for a palatal expander is between childhood and adolescence, because the jaws are still developing. If your child has a narrow upper jaw, an expander may be the first step of braces or the only treatment necessary.

Your orthodontist will place the expander over the upper back molars and it will rest at the top of the mouth. The two halves of the expander meet in the middle with a screw, which is tightened with a key. You will be given the key and instructed on how often to use it. Once the desired expansion is achieved, your orthodontist will leave the expander in for a few weeks to make sure the expansion does not regress, then remove it. 

Retainers

Retainers are plastic or metal devices that are custom-fitted and designed to keep teeth straight. After you complete braces or Invisalign treatment, your teeth will naturally want to shift back to their improper positions. A retainer will hold teeth in their new positions, maintaining your straight smile and keeping your teeth stabilized while the bone rebuilds around them.

Most patients are asked to wear a retainer consistently for about 12 months after finishing braces or Invisalign. Wearing a retainer is just as important as your teeth straightening treatment itself, because it helps you keep your straight smile. Your Braces Omaha team will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and how often to wear it, if it is removable. If you receive a fixed retainer, it will remain in your mouth at all times. 

What To Do if You Lose or Break an Orthodontic Device

At Braces Omaha, we know that accidents happen! If you accidentally throw away, lose, or break your orthodontic device, try to relocate it and collect all of the pieces. Contact us as soon as possible and we will advise you on the steps to take until we can see you in the office. If you lose an Invisalign aligner, we may advise you to start the next aligner in the series or go back to your previous one. If your braces break or loosen, use orthodontic wax to hold the brackets in place and to cover any poking wires. 

Orthodontic accidents can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, but unless they are causing severe and uncontrollable pain or bleeding, they are not a dental emergency. Simply call our office and a member of our staff will walk you through what to do. Your Braces Omaha team is always here to help!

A Happier Smile Starts Here

We’re a family-friendly practice that provides optimal orthodontic care in a comfortable, approachable setting. To learn more about your treatment options for yourself or your child, we encourage you to contact Braces Omaha to schedule a complimentary consultation.