Orthodontic Appliances

Headgear/Nightbrace | Nance Appliance
Thumb/Finger Appliance | Tongue Thrusting Appliance

Headgear/Nightbrace

Headgear is often used to correct an excessive overbite. This is done by placing pressure against the upper back teeth and jaw, allowing the lower jaw to grow and catch up with the upper jaw. The severity of the problem determines the length of time headgear needs to be worn. The key to success with your headgear appliance is consistency. Headgear must be worn 8-10 hours per day, usually at night. Headgear should never be worn while playing sports and should also be removed while eating or brushing your teeth.

Nance Appliance

The Nance Appliance is used to prevent upper molars from rotating or moving forward. Some patients wear the Nance Appliance to hold space while they are awaiting their bicuspids to grow into place.

The appliance is made of two bands that are cemented onto the first molars and a wire spans the roof of the mouth from one molar to the other. An acrylic pad or “button” covers the wire that touches the roof of your mouth directly behind your front teeth.

Patients should always brush around the bands daily. Do not eat sticky, chewy candy as it can loosen your appliance.

Thumb/Finger Appliance

Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of permanent teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, talk to your dentist.

One solution to thumb sucking is an appliance called a "habit reminder." This appliance is put on the child's upper teeth by an orthodontist. It’s placed behind on the upper teeth on the roof of the mouth. The reminder consists of semicircular stainless steel wires that are fastened to molars using steel bands. The stainless steel wires fit behind the child's upper front teeth, and they are barely visible. The appliance is cemented into place and is not removable preventing it from being lost by the child. The reminder usually stops the habit of thumb sucking within the first week of use.

Tongue Thrusting Appliance

Tongue thrusting occurs when the patient presses his or her tongue against the front teeth, usually when swallowing, speaking or resting the tongue. If thrusting is constant, this can cause problems with teeth alignment and must be fixed.

We prefer to correct tongue thrusting by giving patients a tongue thrusting appliance. This appliance is similar to a habit reminder and is fixed into place.