Elastics are designed to improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth (your bite). It is important to wear the elastics as directed by the orthodontist. Elastics work far more efficiently when they are worn as directed.
Patients who have an overbite or underbite may be required to wear headgear. An overbite occurs when the upper jaw is forward of the lower jaw. An underbite occurs when the lower jaw is forward of the upper jaw. Headgear works by gently “pulling” the teeth to restrict further forward growth of the upper teeth and jaw.
MARA is used to encourage the forward growth of the lower jaw. The device is designed to correct the bite by aligning the lower jaw with the upper jaw. As a result, the facial profile as well as the correction of the bite will be immediately improved. While it may appear uncomfortable, don’t be discouraged. The MARA appliance is actually much easier to get used to than it appears. MARA is generally worn between 15-18 months.
The palatal expander is designed to widen the upper jaw by putting gentle, constant pressure on the upper molars each time an adjustment is made. It is important to follow the instructions of the orthodontist about when and how to adjust the expander. After the desired expansion is reached, the appliance will be worn an additional six months to solidify the expansion and prevent relapse.
To watch a video illustration of a Palatal Expander, click here.