Mouthguards | Occlusal Guidance Appliance | Bite Plate | Rapid Palatal Expander | Herbst Appliance | Reverse Pull Headgear
Today's young athlete can choose from a variety of sports safety equipment to protect life and limb. Helmets, knee pads, safety goggles, facemasks, and mouthguards help prevent serious injury on the playing field. Mouthguards, also called mouth protectors, are particularly important in protecting a teen's smile.
Athletic mouth protectors (also referred to as mouthguards) are soft plastic appliances worn in the mouth to prevent damage to teeth. They are made to fit comfortably to the shape of the teeth. They are available in "off the shelf" versions and custom-made mouthguards that fit only the individual they were made for. These custom-made versions are made from impressions of the individual's teeth.
In recent years, mouthguards have become more and more prevalently used during sports activities. In addition to the teeth, they also protect the tongue, cheeks, lips, and jaw. Statistics show that oral injuries are greatly reduced when athletes wear them. More and more organized sports are requiring their use and appropriately so.
As mentioned, both over-the-counter and custom mouthguards are available. Either kind is better than none. The least effective mouth guard is the one that your child doesn't wear! Youngsters sometimes tend not to wear units that feel too bulky, fit improperly or excessively impair speech.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that anyone engaging in active sports wear a mouthguard. Some active sports include football, basketball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, and volleyball. There are many other sports that also have the potential to seriously harm the head, face, or mouth as a result of head-to-head contact, falls, tooth clenching, or from impact with equipment. A well-constructed mouthguard used during any of these sports can help prevent injury to the mouth, teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue.
Occlusal Guidance Appliance
An Occlusal Guidance Appliance is a very specialized orthodontic appliance. It is able to hold proper tooth positions and guide erupting permanent teeth. It is critical that the appliance be worn as directed to maximize all of the potential benefits.
Exercising with your occlusal guide, by squeezing your teeth together, will properly align your teeth. This should be done at least once a day and worn all night. When it is worn properly, a milky white color change can be expected. Keep your occlusal guide clean by brushing it with your toothbrush and toothpaste.
Be sure to keep your occlusal guide in all night. If you are not able to do so, substitute those hours during the day, and please call to let us know.
If you are playing a sport that requires wearing a mouthpiece, you can wear your occlusal guide as a substitute and easily get your daytime hour in.
When first worn, your teeth and jaws may be sore. This will subside when worn consistently.
You will find that your mouth will water a little more since you have a new appliance. Practice swallowing with your lips and teeth together, and this extra watering will soon stop.
When you are not wearing your appliance, be sure to keep it in its case. Never wrap it in a napkin as this is the most common way for it to become lost or to be thrown away. If you lose it, please call our office so you can purchase a replacement.
Remember, if you have any questions, please call 478-8844.
A bite plate is a removable orthodontic appliance that is usually made of acrylic. It is used to help correct excessive overclosure of the teeth and jaws. Normally it is used in growing patients and worn full-time. Maximum benefit can be attained if the person learns to eat with it in and only remove it for brushing and sports. The length of time it is used is determined by the patient's needs and specific problems.
If you experience any problems with your bite plate, please contact our office immediately.
Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)
The upper jaw is made of two halves that meet in the center of the hard plate. After maturity (around age 16 or so), the two halves join to form a central suture line. Until that time, the two bones are separate. The palatal expander is a device that can orthopedically widen the palate. The expander uses a jack screw that is turned to widen the palate. New bone grows at the widened edges to permanently increase the width of the palate. This type of movement is bone, or orthopedic, not tooth orthodontic movement. This treatment, if properly utilized, may help prevent extractions of permanent teeth and jaw surgery. In adults, the appliance can be used in conjunction with jaw surgery.
At cementation, you will be instructed on how and when to expand the device.
In the majority of cases, there will be a space or gap between the upper front teeth that will appear once expansion starts. This space is only temporary and will close on its own in a short time.
There is usually no pain when the appliance is expanded. There will be great deal of pressure on the teeth or jaws.
It will be difficult to swallow and talk for the first day or so. The tongue will adjust and return to normal function very quickly. There will be no permanent speech problems. To help with speech adjustment, we recommend reading out loud or singing out loud for a day or so.
The appliance is expected to stay in place a minimum of 4 to 6 months after all expansion is completed. In some instances, the RPE will be used in other capacities and will remain in longer.
If you miss a day turning your appliance, don't turn it twice the next day. Instead, add on to the end of your schedule.
You will adhere to the same food guidelines as with your other appliances.
If you experience any discomfort, we recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory product and warm salt water rinses.
When cleaning, brush the metal bars of your appliance, as well as the screw mechanism, with your toothbrush and paste. If you cannot brush after you eat lunch, try to swish with water to release any food that may become trapped above the screw.
The basic advantage of the Herbst Appliance is that it will help achieve the bony or skeletal correction without the patient having to remember to wear it. Care must be used in cleaning and avoid hard and sticky foods that may damage the appliance. Specific instructions will be provided by Drs. Shehee and Callahan and their staff.
Reverse Pull Headgear
In order for the teeth to align correctly, the jaws that support the teeth must also align. A common problem we see is that the upper jaw doesn't grow as much as it should to match the lower jaw. In a growing person, we can place a forward or protraction force on the upper jaw to encourage forward growth. This is done in an attempt to encourage growth so that jaws can align and we can avoid jaw alignment surgery.
The device we use is called the reverse pull headgear or facemask. It simply provides a platform to hold elastics to that area then attached to the hooks on the maxillary appliance. The amount of benefit from this appliance is directly proportioned to the amount of time the patient uses it.
Instructions must be followed carefully for us to achieve the maximum benefit.
Usually we will ask the patient to sleep with the appliance on and to wear it any time they are at home.
If there are any problems that arise, please let us know immediately.