When most people think of orthodontics, the image of a child wearing braces is likely the first image that comes to mind. However, not only can orthodontic care be used to serve patients of all ages, but highly-trained specialists like Dr. Valant have many more ways of treating patients beyond metal brackets and wires. With various custom-made retainers and oral appliances, Dr. Valant can help a patient achieve their final results more quickly and ensure they last a lifetime.
After an orthodontic treatment concludes, whether it involved braces or Invisalign, a patient will be asked to wear a retainer. This is because the teeth will remember where they were and shift back to their original position. Removable retainers are clear appliances that fit comfortably over the teeth and prevent this from happening. Initially, a patient will wear their retainer at all times, and eventually, they will only need to use it when they sleep.
Fixed retainers consist of placing a very small and thin wire behind the front teeth that is held in place with dental composite. This prevents newly aligned teeth from becoming crooked again. Dr. Valant is very adept at applying fixed retainers in order to help his patients maintain their new smiles. Because of the fixed retainers’ small size, they are completely unseen and the patient won’t be able to tell they are wearing one after just a few days.
The roof of the mouth, or hard palate, can sometimes be so narrow that it prevents the upper teeth from coming in straight, leading to crowding. It can also reduce the size of a person’s airway, making them more likely to snore or suffer from sleep apnea. Thankfully, Dr. Valant can use a palatal expander to do just that—slowly and efficiently increase the width of the hard palate with a small orthodontic appliance. In addition to correcting the above problems, this device can also give the face a more balanced and attractive appearance.
Thumb sucking is a habit about 90% of small children will engage in at some time, but most naturally stop between the ages of 2-4. However, if a child continues past this age, it can negatively affect the development of the teeth, mouth and jaw. If you’ve had difficulty getting your child to stop (like many, many parents who come to see us), Dr. Valant can place a small appliance in your child’s mouth that will prevent them from sucking their thumb. Over time, this will enable them to break the habit and help reestablish normal growth and development.