3 Little-Known Orthodontic Appliances And Their Uses

Dentist Blog

Braces and retainers are perhaps the most commonly known appliances available from an orthodontist. Braces are used to correct defective alignment of teeth in the mouth, while retainers are often used to hold these teeth in their newly-aligned position after the braces have done their work.

Braces and retainers are by no means the only appliances available from an orthodontist. Because a large number of patients are often unfamiliar with other orthodontic appliances and their uses, they end up suffering with a problem that an orthodontist would have helped to fix. Here are three of the lesser-known orthodontic appliances and what they're used for.

Fixed Palatal Cribs

A fixed palatal crib is an orthodontic device used to get the thumb-sucking behavior out of children. Under normal circumstances, thumb-sucking will stop once the child's permanent front teeth begin to erupt from the jaws.  If this habit is left to continue beyond the point of permanent tooth eruption, it may result in misalignment of the child's teeth as they continue to grow and develop.

A fixed palatial crib consists of semi-circular wires made of stainless steel. Steel bands are used to fasten these appliances to a child's molars and the wires run behind the front teeth on the child's upper jaw. These devices are often quite effective at getting the thumb-sucking habit out of young dental patients.

Tongue Beads

Tongue beads are often used on patients who commonly experience problems relate to tongue-thrusting. Tongue-thrusting refers to a situation in which an individual's tongue is pressed against his/her front teeth. This often occurs when the individual is taking and/or chewing food. Tongue beads are often made of acrylic.

The tongue bead is installed in the rear region of the mouth and its acts a tongue retainer. By ensuring that the tongue is wedged between the roof of the mouth and the tongue bead when swallowing food, chances of a tongue-thrust are reduced significantly.

Nance Appliances

The Nance appliance is beneficial to patients who have noticed movement of molars within the mouth.

The Nance appliance is designed with two bands connected on the inside via a wire. The central part of this wire has a piece of acrylic resting on it. Placement of a Nance appliance is done on the arch of the last two molars on either side of the upper jaw.

This appliance is used to prevent further forward movement of molars, thereby helping to prevent the loss of these teeth.


25 January 2016

Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.