RPE | Retainers | OG
Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the Rapid Palatal Expander is an orthodontic device used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch.
When patients are still growing, their connective tissue between the left and right halves of their upper jaw is very responsive to expansion. By simply activating the expander through turning a screw in the center, with a special key we provide, gradual outward pressure is placed on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This pressure causes an increased amount of bone to grow between the right and left halves of the jaw, ultimately resulting in an increased width.
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How long do I need to wear my retainers?
While it may vary from patient to patient, the normal period for full-time retainer wear lasts for about two years. During this time, we will schedule regular appointments to give us an opportunity to monitor your progress and address any questions or concerns you have. After this full period of full-time retainer wear, it is recommended that you wear your retainer at night time for life, so as to ensure your smile is as straight and beautiful as the day your braces came off!
Can teeth move after treatment?
The forces that our office took advantage of to move your teeth into proper position are the same ones that can shift your teeth into an improper position without care and oversight. Tooth position typically changes in patients over time, regardless of orthodontic treatment, and minor changes to your retainer may be necessary in the future, but our ultimate goal is to keep your smile beautiful and functional for the rest of your life.
It is important that you treat your retainer with as much care as possible. Brush your retainer with cool (not hot!) water and toothpaste. You may also need to soak it occasionally in dental cleanser to keep it smelling and tasting fresh. And if your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be in its case! Retainers kept in pockets, placed on tables or tucked into napkins are frequently broken or accidentally thrown away. Be sure to keep your retainers away from dogs or other pets, as they will often try to chew on them. If you break or lose your retainer, please contact our office right away so that we can repair or replace it for you as soon as possible.
Remember - retainers are important to keep your new smile forever, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far!
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For children 7 to 12 years old, we offer Occlus-o-Guide, which is an orthodontic appliance used to straighten teeth. This soft, removable, plastic appliance contains sockets that allow patients to perform “exercises” that encourage tooth realignment. Your child may benefit from the Occlus-o-Guide if he/she has:
- Spacing between teeth
- An overbite
- An overjet
- Jaw discrepancies
- TMJ symptoms
Patients will be asked to practice active wear exercises with this appliance two to four hours a day. Active wear exercises require the patient to bite down on the appliance for about a minute and then release for 30 seconds. This will be repeated in 20 minute increments throughout the day totaling two to four hours of Active Wear. Patients will also be required to wear the Occlus-o-Guide at night. Total treatment time is between four to 10 months.
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