Posted on: 29 August 2016Share
Most dental patients are aware of retainers and braces. They are perhaps the most frequently used treatment options provided by an orthodontist. However, retainers and braces are by no means the only way an orthodontist treats misaligned teeth. Below is a simple guide to 3 lesser-known treatments an orthodontist may use on teeth.
Fixed Palatal Cribs
A fixed palatal crib is a device which is used to discourage a child from sucking their thumb. Under normal circumstances, most children will stop sucking their thumb between the ages of 2 and 4. However, if your child continues to suck their thumb after this age, it can result in their teeth becoming misaligned as they develop and grow.
A fixed palatal crib is made of semi-circular stainless steel wires. Metal bands are used to fix the palatal crib to your child's molars, with the wires running behind your child's front teeth. These wires prevent the thumb from placing pressure on the teeth.
Tongue beads are used on dental patients who have a problem with tongue-thrusting. Tongue-thrusting is when a person presses their tongue against their front teeth. This often occurs while chewing on food or talking. The pressure created by the tongue hitting the back of the teeth can cause them to become misaligned. Tongue beads are usually made of acrylic.
An orthodontist will install a tongue bead in the rear of the mouth by securing it to the rear molars using wires. The wires, which have a bead attached, arc over the roof of the mouth. The bead encourages the patient to place their tongue in the correct position against the soft palate and so reduces tongue-thrust.
Nance appliances are used when a patient's molars have moved position. It consists of two bands which are connected to the first molars. A wire spans the roof of the mouth connecting the two molars on either side of the upper jaw. The central piece of this wire has a small acrylic patch attached to it to protect the roof of the mouth. A nance appliance will stop any further movement or rotation of the molars.
If you have any questions about the different treatment options used to correct misaligned teeth, or if you have any concerns about your dental health, you should book an appointment with an orthodontist. They will be able to answer your questions and perform any necessary treatment.