Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)

A Rapid Palatal Expander is used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are too crowded. It expands the upper jaw and creates more space.

The expander is cemented to the upper molars and fits along the top of the mouth. When a patient is young and growing, the tissue between the right and left sides of their upper jaw is flexible and easy to move and adjust. An expander places gentle pressure outward on the right and left sides of the jaw and creates additional space. New bone will grow between the two halves of the jaw, increasing its width.

Braces

Braces use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper place. Braces also improve your oral health because properly aligned teeth are easier to clean and more resistant to gum disease. We offer many different types of braces so you can choose the type that works best for you.

Retainer

After you get your braces off you’ll get a retainer. The purpose of the retainer is to keep your teeth in place, not to continue moving them. It’s important to wear your retainer as instructed to keep your teeth in their new position. You can take your retainer out to brush, and you should brush your retainer with water before placing it back in your mouth. If your retainer bends or breaks, then call us and we’ll get you in for an emergency appointment. Don’t try to adjust it yourself.

To clean your retainer, soak it in a cup of warm (not hot) water or mouthwash, or brush it gently with a clean toothbrush. Don’t use toothpaste.

We use two types of retainers, Essix retainers and permanent retainers. Essix retainers fit like Invisalign—clear removable trays that have no wires. We also use permanent retainers that are cemented on the inside of the lower teeth to prevent movement.

Habit Appliances:

Thumbsucking

Children usually stop sucking their thumbs when their front permanent teeth are ready to break through their gums. When thumbsucking continues after the permanent teeth have broken through then it can cause improper growth and misalignment of teeth.

There is a solution to thumb sucking, though! It’s called a “fixed palatal crib” and it’s placed on the roof of the mouth behind the upper teeth. It’s made of wires that attach to the child’s molars with steel bands. The wires run behind the upper front teeth and they are almost invisible. It stops thumb sucking in less than a day in most cases.

Tongue Thrust

We use this appliance to stop tongue thrusting and return the tongue back to a normal position. This appliance stops tongue thrusting in the first couple of months.