Spacers, also called separators, are small circular elastics that are placed in between the teeth. They create space between your teeth so that bands can be accurately fit at your next appointment.
What do spacers feel like?
Your teeth may be sensitive, but the discomfort should only last a few days. Taking over the counter pain relievers should help. Please consult with your physician if you have any allergies to medication.
What do I do if a spacer falls out?
If one or two spacers fall out, simply keep your next scheduled appointment, there is no need to call. This usually means that enough space has been created for the bands to be properly placed. If all of your spacers fall out, please call our office and we will advise you on whether you need to come in to have them replaced.
What should I do to prevent them from coming out?
Avoid sticky or chewy foods and do not floss in the areas where the spacers were placed. You can still brush normally and floss in areas where there are no spacers.
These are metal rings that fit all the way around your back molar teeth and have a bracket welded to the side. They will be fit after your spacer appointment and remain on your teeth during your entire active orthodontic treatment. They will be removed when your braces are completed.
These are the individual braces that are bonded to the outside of your teeth with special orthodontic tooth glue. They will remain on your teeth during your active orthodontic treatment and will be removed when your braces are completed. Sometimes, brackets are used on the back molar teeth instead of bands. They can be metal or ceramic (clear).
Elastics are small rubber bands that attach to hooks on the top and bottom braces. They help correct your bite and fit your top and bottom teeth together. Make sure to wear them as prescribed by Dr. Kopicki. The more consistent you are with your elastic wear, the faster your teeth will move and the faster your braces treatment will be done!
A palatal expander is a very common appliance used during orthodontic treatment. It is used for a variety of reasons but most commonly to correct crossbites (when the top teeth fit inside the bottom teeth) or to create space for permanent teeth. The expander is cemented to your upper back teeth and sits close to the roof of the mouth. It puts gentle pressure on your teeth and gradually widens the upper jaw.
In order to activate the expander, a key is inserted into a small hole in the middle of the appliance and pushed front to back. Dr. Kopicki will advise how often and for how long the appliance needs to be activated. Please see the video below for a visual on how to activate the appliance. Once the desired width is achieved, the expander must stay in place for several months in order to hold the correction.
Elastics Powerscope Class II Corrector
This appliance helps correct overjet (when the top teeth stick out too far relative to the bottom teeth). This appliance is a spring loaded arm that attaches from the top to the bottom braces and puts gentle pressure on the teeth, pushing the lower teeth forward and the top teeth back to achieve the desired bite correction. The Powerscope is usually inserted about half way through treatment and will stay in for an average of 4-6 months.
Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device
Very similar to a PowerScope, the Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device also helps correct overjet. This appliance is a spring that attaches from the top to the bottom braces and puts gentle pressure on the teeth, pushing the lower teeth forward and the top teeth back to achieve the desired bite correction. The Forsus is usually inserted about half way through treatment and will stay in for an average of 4-6 months.
This appliance is also used to correct overjet. It is used when the upper jaw and lower jaw are not well aligned with each other and helps the lower jaw catch up with the upper jaw. This appliance can be used separately or in conjunction with braces and typically stays in the mouth for an average of 6-9 months. It places gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws, pushing the lower teeth forward and encouraging lower jaw growth while pushing the top teeth back to achieve bite correction.
Retainers are worn at the end of active orthodontic treatment to keep the teeth in place. It is very important to remember to wear your retainer or your teeth will start to shift. There are several different types of retainers:
- Hawley – These traditional retainers consist of plastic on the inside of the mouth and wires across the front teeth to hold teeth in place. These retainers are very durable and will last a long time. Please see the video on how to care for your Hawley retainers.
- Essix – This retainer is a clear horse-shoe shaped appliance that fits down over your teeth. These work well as retainers but tend to wear out and may need frequent replacement.
- Permanent Retainers – These retainers are bonded to the back of the teeth. They are great because you don’t have to remember to wear a retainer every night but they can be difficult to clean and flossing can be especially challenging.
Dr. Kopicki will discuss retainer options at the end of treatment and decide which retainers are ideal for you!