As a kid, it’s difficult to understand all that goes into the mouth during an orthodontist visit. As an adult, it’s not much easier. It may be hard to see the difference between spacers, metal braces, retainers, bite plates, and more. Our orthodontist in Powell, OH wants to give an easy explanation of the different types of orthodontic appliances you may find in your mouth. Soon, you’ll know the difference between holding arches and a palatal expander. Whether you need this information for you or your kids, we at Kulkarni & Fitz Orthodontics are here to help.

Fixed vs. Removable Appliances

First, it’s important to understand the difference between fixed and removable appliances. Some, like retainers, can be easily taken in and out of the mouth at the patient’s own leisure. Others, like a palatal expander, can be fixed into the mouth only to be removed surgically or after a long period of time.

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Below is a quick overview of the types of orthodontic appliances you will typically see entering your mouth during any orthodontics procedure:

  • Bite plates. These are fixed devices that can correct a bite that is too deep. This is typically used when the top teeth bite too far down over the bottom teeth.
  • Braces are commonly known metal or clear retainers that are fixed to the mouth, helping to straighten the teeth. They are typically applied with brackets that are glued to the teeth and bands that hold them all together. They can be fixed or removable.
  • Holding arches. These are typically fixed orthodontic appliances that hold the back teeth in place, preventing them from moving forward. If they were to move forward, they could crowd the front teeth too much.
  • Palatal expander. This metal device is fixed to the roof of the mouth and around the back of the top teeth, which serves to widen the upper jaw. It separates the bones of the palate to ensure that the bottom teeth have plenty of room to fit together, and the top teeth are not too crowded.
  • These are removable devices that are typically given out after braces are removed. Retainers are meant to help hold the straightened teeth in alignment by being worn on a temporary basis.
  • Spacers are small plastic rings that fit between the back teeth, and are applied to the rest of the braces are put on.

Contact Us for an Orthodontics Fitting Today!

Now that you have a firm grasp on the types of orthodontic appliances that may go into your mouth, visit us at Kulkarni & Fitz Orthodontics for more information. Feel free to give us a call at (937) 748-0505, or contact us online to learn more.