In the orthodontic world, there is a lot of dental jargon that may be near impossible to understand. To the common ear, there are many words and terms that just don’t make sense. It helps to have a trained dental professional that explains treatment clearly. Luckily, the orthodontist in our office is excellent at communicating and explaining all treatment options and terms that you may not understand. We’ve even compiled a list of the most common orthodontic appliances to help you better understand your treatment.
Separating Elastics (AKA Seps, Separators, or Spacers)
Separators are bulky rubber bands that are placed in between the teeth for a few days to create a space for orthodontic bands to be placed. This is a gentle process and does not create any discomfort. Be sure to avoid any kind of floss and sticky foods while the elastics are in, as this can pull them right out.
This appliance helps to correct a deep bite (overbite) by sliding the lower jaw forward. In addition, it pushes the upper back teeth (molars) backward. A lot of times this appliance is worn by younger children for about a year. It moves the jaw slowly in a way that is not painful.
The expander does just what it says; it widens the upper jaw slowly by applying pressure to the upper molars. Adjustments are occasionally made by our orthodontist in 91737 to expand the appliance. Since this process is so gradual, it does not cause discomfort.
Elastic or Rubber Bands
Elastics improve the way that your upper and lower jaw come together (also known as your “bite”. They can cause some inconvenience when trying to eat, but they are an important part of the treatment. Your child will often get to choose the color of his or her elastics.
When people say that they are getting metal braces, this is the stage that they are actually talking about. The braces (also known as brackets) are the metal squares that serve as the point of attachment for the elastics and rubber bands.
Dental terms can be confusing and are much easier to comprehend when you have a dental professional to explain treatment to you. If you ever have any questions in regards to understanding your child’s orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact our orthodontics office in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.