Types of Treatment

Braces    The most common and certainly the most effective type of treatment is with fixed braces. They are called “fixed” because they adhere to the teeth with a tooth-colored adhesive. They are small, easily cleaned, comfortable and require the least cooperation for the patient because remembering to remove and then replace them is not necessary. Braces can be traditional silver (with or without colors) or clear porcelain (unlike plastic they will not discolor).

Removable appliances    There is a huge variety of removable “retainers” used to treat certain orthodontic problems. Some are very effective at limited tooth movement. The inherent problem with any removable treatment is the issue of patient cooperation. Also, the precision of any removable device will never be as good as something affixed to the teeth. Still, removable devices have their place in orthodontic treatment.

Headgear    Commonly called a “night brace” these are devices or appliances that are generally removable and attach to fixed braces already on the teeth. They are used to restrain, encourage or maintain growth of the jaws in children with certain types of jaw abnormalities. They are generally used less in orthodontics than in previous years.

Palate expanders    These are generally cemented or fixed appliances that attach to the upper teeth and are literally used to widen a narrow palate in a growing child. A small “key” is used daily by the parent to gradually open a screw in the middle of the device. They should be used mainly in children with crossbite of the back teeth.