Conventional Treatments

  • Braces and Other Appliances
  • Functional Appliances

To correct your malocclusion or other problem, your orthodontist fits you with one or more appliances. An appliance is anything you wear in your mouth, like braces, headgear or a plate to move your teeth, jaws, and chewing muscles into better position. Here’s how they work.

Moving Teeth
BRACESBRACES apply gentle pressure to your teeth. Bone is absorbed on one side of the tooth.
NEW BONE New bone grows in and slowly hardens on the other side to hold teeth in their new positions.
Changing Jaws and Muscles
  • Headgear may be used to hold your upper jaw in place while your lower jaw grows to “catch up”.
  • A functional appliance may be used to guide your jaws and chewing muscles into position.

Your Own Special Treatment Plan
Since every child’s teeth and jaws are different, your orthodontist will talk with you and your parents about your own special treatment plan. Some appliances are fixed: they stay on throughout your treatment. Others are removable: it’s up to you to put them on (and leave them on!) when you should. How long you need your appliances depends on the kind of problem you have, how well you follow your orthodontist’s instructions, and whether you need other treatment as well.

  • With your braces on, you can still do the things you like to !

You may wear bonded brackets on your front teeth and full bands on your back teeth. These bonded brackets could be made of metal. Tooth coloured ceramic brackets are less visible than the standard metal appliance. Ceramic brackets are recommended to those patients for whom having a visible orthodontic appliance is awkward.

Brackets could also be bonded on inside (tongue facing) surface of your teeth. These kind of braces are called lingual braces. These too help in making the treatment less visible or invisible. There are also other options in making your appliance less visible as discussed in “ Other Treatment ” and if the visibility is a factor that causes you concern please feel free to mention that at your very first consultation appointment, so we can devise a treatment plan keeping in mind your concerns.

On your lower teeth, you may wear a lingual arch, made of two full bands and a single wire behind your teeth.

Fitting your band is like fitting a ring on your finger except, when the right size is found, it’s cemented on! For a week or two before your braces go on, you may wear separators, tiny pieces of plastic that look like tiny rubber bands or wire between your teeth to make room for your bands.


Rinsing you mouth with warm, salted water helps you feel better while you get used to braces. Your orthodontist may prescribe Crocin or Matacin to relieve any minor soreness after your braces are adjusted, usually every two to six weeks.

May be attached to your braces to help move your teeth. Forgetting to wear your elastic is like pedaling a bike with no chain: all that work and you’re not moving at all!


Be sure to wear your elastics as many hours as your orthodontist tells you to, attached as you have been shown at the office. When you go on vacation, be sure to take along an extra supply.

Be sure to take elastics to school with you in case one breaks.

You may wear headgear along with your braces to help move your teeth and jaws into correct position. Most styles of headgear have a metal face bow that slides into headgear tubes on your back teeth. Each style is used for a different bite problem.
  • Neck-strap style hold back growth in your upper jaw or moves teeth back in line.
  • J-hook style moves your upper teeth back into position.
  • Reverse-pull style moves your upper jaw forward by pushing on your chin and forehead.


Be sure to wear your headgear as many hours as your orthodontist tells you. When you take off your headgear, always undo the straps first, and then slide your face bow out carefully. When you’re wearing your headgear, don’t play rough sports: the face bow can come loose and poke your mouth or eyes. To keep your headgear clean, brush the face bow with toothpaste and wipe the straps with a damp cloth each day.


A retainer holds your teeth in their new positions while bone grows in to hold them steady. Different kinds of retainers are available and we will choose the best type of retainer for you, depending on what your original problem (malocclusion) was. You might be asked to wear a removable plate or may be given a fixed wire retainer which is stuck on the inside surface (tongue facing surface) of your teeth. Fixed wire retainers are not visible when you smile or eat and hence do not cause any social embarrassment. You may also need to use a Positioner first, to move your teeth slightly and put the finishing touch on your new smile


Be sure to wear your retainer as many hours as your Orthodontist tells you to. Brush your retainer with toothpaste twice a day, as you brush your teeth. When you’re eating, keep your retainer safely in the retainer box provided to you.

  • Keeping a chart can help you remember to wear your retainer.

For some children, wearing braces, headgear, and a retainer is enough to give them a winning smile. But sometimes other orthodontic treatment is needed. Your orthodontist may fit you with an appliance, Such as one of these shown below, to wear before your braces go on

Functional Appliances
Your orthodontist may fit you with a functional appliance to help your jaws and chewing muscles grow into a good bite. Wearing a functional appliance may feel a little funny at first, like when you first learn to ride a bike. The most common is a Twin Block appliance which helps you bite with your lower jaw in correct position. Your orthodontist can explain how your functional appliance works and how long you will be wearing it. If you have any questions, fell free to ask

Twin Block Appliance
Twin Block Appliance
This consists of two separate plates a larger upper one and a smaller lower one. Both of these plates have bite blocks that help you bite in the correct position.

Special Purpose Appliances
Special Purpose Appliances
Just like the roof of your house has to fit, the roof of your mouth does, too! If it’s too small and causes crowded teeth, your orthodontist can fit you with a palatal expander. This appliance gently widens the roof of your mouth (your palate) and makes room for your teeth to grow. Or you may need a habit corrector to help you stop mouth habits that move your teeth out of line. Thumb-sucking, tongue-thrusting (pushing your tongue against your teeth when you swallow), and mouth-breathing can be corrected before you wear braces.

Palatal Expander
Functional Appliances
A palatal expander gently widens the roof of your mouth to make room for crowded teeth. It’s worn for a short time during treatment.

Habit Corrector
Habit Corrector
This habit corrector is for tongue-thrusting. It teaches your tongue to press against the roof of your mouth when you swallow, instead of pushing on your front teeth.

These are tiny screw like pieces that may need to be placed temporarily in your mouth. These help us by providing a support to move the teeth in a more efficient way. Whether you need these or not, is something which we will decide and discuss with you during the consultation appointment.

Invisalign and Invisalign Type of Tooth Correctors
Invisalign and Invisalign Type of Tooth Correctors
These are clear plastic type of removeable plates that fit on directly over your teeth and help push your teeth into the position we want them to be at. This too is a invisible type of treatment option, helpful in some cases where visibility of the braces is a source of concern. Please feel free to ask us more about this treatment option.

Extractions and Surgery
Sometimes appliances alone aren’t enough. You may need some teeth removed (extraction) to allow
others to grow in properly or make room for crowded teeth. For a severe problem that can’t be treated in any other way,  your orthodontist may recommend surgery to correct your bite.