Stanley Dentistry offers developmental appliances, also known as functional appliances, to gently guide the teeth or jaw into the desired position. Developmental appliances are corrective and supportive braces that are prescribed to promote growth of the face, maxillary arch, mandibular arch while aligning the jaw and teeth.
Developmental appliances are best used in developing children and teenagers. Most developmental appliances are worn for nine to twelve months.
Maxillary Growth Appliances
The bone area that holds the upper front teeth is known as the premaxilla area. During development, this area can become deficient for a number of reasons including airway issues, i.e. mouth breathing due to allergies, improper swallowing or tongue habits or trauma. The maxillary growth appliances are used to promote the bones of the upper arch to grow forward. As the premaxilla grows forward, the lower jaw (or the mandible) will follow which helps to develop the face and open the airway. Growth appliances can be removable or fixed.
A palate expander is used to widen the upper arch so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit together better. Palate expanders are most commonly used in children although some adults may benefit from palatal expanders.
The expansion of the mouth results in more room for your teeth and proper function of the jaw.
Tongue Habit Appliance
Tongue habits develop for a number of reasons. If the tongue is not placed properly during swallowing, eating or talking, it can cause the mouth to abnormally form. If the mouth is abnormally formed, the teeth can become crowded, rotated or flared with spaces. Before the teeth are straightened, the tongue must be “retrained” to function properly. This is done with the help of an appliance placed in the mouth to guide the tongue to function properly.
Thumb Sucking Appliance
Thumb sucking can be a difficult habit to stop. Many children find comfort in sucking their thumbs, however, it can be detrimental to the development of the jaw and face. Thumb sucking should be stopped by the age of one year. The dentists at Stanley Dentistry have lots of helpful advice to coach your child to discontinue this habit. If discontinuation cannot be accomplished with encouragement, there are thumb habit appliances that can be placed in the mouth to help remind the child not to suck the thumb.