Dr. Cavallaro and Dr. Moore are Certified Invisalign Providers! Invisalign uses a custom-made series of clear, removable, and comfortable aligners to gradually straighten your teeth according to the prescription from the doctors. They are removed for eating, therefore requiring less diet restrictions, and for brushing and flossing, making hygiene easier. Not everyone is a candidate for this type of treatment, but we will be happy to evaluate your orthodontic needs and let you know if Invisalign is an option for you!
Ceramic braces are very similar in design to traditional braces, however they are made from a ceramic material that makes them translucent. This allows them to blend in with your natural tooth color, making them less obvious and more esthetic. Ceramic braces will not discolor or stain during the course of treatment. While ceramic braces are less esthetically obvious, they do require more attention to oral hygiene and diet as they are larger and more brittle than metal braces. For this reason, we use ceramic braces on the top front teeth more than on the bottom teeth.
Metal braces are the most common type of braces. They are made of high-grade stainless steel and are attached to the front surface of the teeth using special adhesive. Traditional braces require elastics to hold the wire onto the brackets. These elastics come in a variety of colors that allow you to show your personality or support your favorite sports team or school. Silver, gray, and white colored elastics are also available for patients who want a more neutral look.
A palatal expander is an appliance that goes in the roof of the mouth and is used to gently expand (or widen) the top jaw and/or teeth. How to turn the expander:
*Things to remember … -Brush and floss daily as usual, but also be sure to brush all parts of the expander to remove food debris and prevent plaque accumulation. Food may get trapped underneath the expander. If this happens, be sure to rinse vigorously with water or mouthwash to dislodge the food. You can also use a proxybrush to clean between the expander and the roof of your mouth. -It is not uncommon to see a space develop between the two upper front teeth during the time expansion occurs. Don’t be alarmed; the space means that the appliance is working. -Speaking with the expander may take some adjustments. We recommend reading and singing aloud to help you adjust faster. -Please avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods, as these types of foods can cause your expander to come loose. We will send a “no-no list” home with you that gives examples of types of foods to avoid. -If your expander ever feels loose or broken, discontinue turning and call our office to schedule an appointment to repair it.
The Herbst appliance is used in growing children to correct misaligned bites by encouraging the lower jaw to catch up in growth and develop in a forward direction. It is usually worn for 12 months, but may be worn longer depending on the amount of growth during treatment. The Herbst appliance is usually used in conjunction with braces.
*Things to remember ….. -When you first get the Herbst appliance you may notice some muscle and teeth soreness as well as some minor tissue irritation. As you adapt to the appliance the soreness and irritation will fade, but over-the-counter pain reliever can be used in the mean time. Eating with your new appliance will take some adjustments. It is recommended to stick with soft foods and to take small bites while getting used to it. The adjustment period usually lasts 1-2 weeks. -Please avoid hard, sticky, and chewy things even after the adjustment period is over, as these types of foods can break your Herbst. We will send a “no-no list” home with you that gives examples of types of foods to avoid. -Speaking with the herbst may take some adjustments. We recommend reading and singing aloud to help you adjust faster. -If you ever think something is loose or broken, please call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to come and get it repaired.
Retainers are a crucial part in ensuring that you beautiful new smile stays that way! They help to “retain” your teeth in the position that Dr. Cavallaro and Dr. Moore placed them with your braces. Without retainers it is highly likely that your teeth will move out of place. Wear your retainer(s) as specified by Dr. Cavallaro and Dr. Moore. Generally full-time wear is expected for one year after appliances are removed. Full time wear means removing the retainer for eating, brushing, and flossing only. Eventually your retainer wear will be decreased; however, on a limited basis, retention is indefinite.
How do I take care of my retainers? Brush your retainers each time you brush your teeth. Use toothpaste and a toothbrush, being careful to place the retainer in the palm of your hand while brushing. Never hold your retainer by the clasps or wires, as this may cause distortion. Place and remove your retainers as instructed in the office. Fully seat the retainers using firm finger pressure. Never bite your retainers into position. Never remove your retainer by holding or pulling the front wire.
*Things to remember….. -Always keep your retainers in their case when they are not in your mouth. NEVER wrap your retainers in napkins- This is how they get thrown away!
-Keep your retainers away from pets. Dogs love them and they make expensive chew toys
-Do not leave retainers where temperatures exceeds 110 degrees fahrenheit, such as closed cars. Also, do use hot water to clean your retainers. Excessive heat causes permanent damage and may cause them to not fit, which could allow your teeth to move in an unfavorable direction. -Always bring your retainers with you when you come for appointments. -Never soak your retainers in denture cleaner. This can damage the wires.
Separators are small rubber bands that are placed between the teeth to create space. They may cause mild discomfort for a few days following their placement. We usually recommend taking Ibuprofen (as long as there are no contraindications) to relieve the soreness. As the separators create space between your teeth, the separators may become loose. Because of this, it is important to avoid sticky and chewy food such as gum, taffy, and caramel that could pull them out. Also, be sure to avoid flossing where the separators are placed (still floss your other teeth). It is very important for all separators to stay in place. If a separator comes out for any reason please call the office.
Dr. Cavallaro and Dr. Moore will sometimes prescribe rubber bands (also known as elastics) as part of your treatment. They are able to help move your teeth in ways that the doctors are unable to do with just wires. Consistency is extremely important with rubber band wear to help us achieve the beautiful results we all want, and in a timely manner. Rubber bands are generally worn full-time (day and night) except for eating, brushing, and flossing. They should be changed 4-6 times a day, generally after meals and before bedtime.
While wearing rubber bands, refrain from opening your mouth too wide during talking, yawning, etc. Excessive force caused by wide opening or sudden jerking on rubber bands can loosen the band or bracket where the rubber band attaches. It is not uncommon for rubber bands to initially cause soreness. Please, do not stop wearing them due to discomfort. With consistent wear, the soreness will subside in a few days! Don’t be a part time rubber band wearer or you’ll be a forever brace wearer!
Where do I attach the rubber bands? Our registered orthodontic assistants will be demonstrate how and where to hook up your rubber bands while you are at our office. They will then have you practice to ensure you understand and feel comfortable doing it on your own. Dr. Cavallaro and Dr. Moore will prescribe a specific type of rubber band for you, so please do not use your friends’ rubber bands.
If you run out or lose them, or if you have a problem with your rubber bands or hooks, please call our office. If you are unable to pick-up a pack from the office, we will send you some. Do not wait until your next appointment. Also, please be sure to place rubber bands exactly as instructed in the office and never double up.