Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed, and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they're worn as prescribed.
Reverse Pull Headgear
Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an underbite with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw up to the age of 9. Headgear gently "pulls" on your teeth to increase the forward growth of your upper jaw.
Rapid Palatal Expander
The Rapid Palatal Expander (or RPE) "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months (usually 6-7) to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.
Dr. Cobain recommends clear overlay retainers after orthodontic treatment. Retainers hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. We will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment. Retainers are also recommended for anyone who does not want to experience undesirable shifting whether they have had orthodontic treatment in the past or not.
Separators or Spacers
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss.