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Removable Orthodontic Appliances Explained

When you have a teeth alignment problem, wearing braces isn’t the only solution. There are simpler devices that can straighten one’s teeth, although they would require more discipline. They are called removable dental or orthodontic appliances. Some examples of these are mouthguards, retainers, and dentures.

Removable appliances are made in a reputable orthodontics laboratory, so you’d usually not see them being readily available in dental clinics. Each appliance is carefully crafted to perfectly fit a patient’s teeth. There are several types of removable orthodontic appliances and they solve a number of teeth alignment problems. On top of that, they can also be a solution for snoring, meaning you can finally have a better sleep if you wear one.

Here are the different types of removable dental appliances, along with their functions:

1. Retainers

Retainers can be removable or fixed. Either way, their purpose is to maintain the alignment of your teeth after having your braces removed. Your orthodontist will advise you on how long you have to wear it, as well as how you’d take care of them. You can remove them when you need to eat and brush your teeth (don’t forget to clean the retainers, too!), but otherwise, you have to wear them as directed, because they are crucial in preventing regression.

2. Space Maintainers

These are used in children who are dealing with premature tooth loss. With gaps in the teeth, the other existing baby teeth may shift and block the path of permanent teeth. This causes malocclusion. Space maintainers are used to prevent the movement of baby teeth onto the path where permanent teeth are supposed to form and grow.

3. Palatal Expanders

Like retainers, palatal expanders can also be removable or fixed. Usually, age is the basis on whether you’d be given a removable version or not. For older children, the fixed version is more suitable.

Palatal expanders are used to widen the upper jaw by applying gentle pressure on the upper molars. It is adjusted regularly, and on each adjustment, you’d feel the gentle pressure once again. Patients are usually advised to wear palatal expanders for several months until the desired result is met.

4. Mouthguards

Mouthguards are those mouthpieces you’d commonly see in athletes. They wear them to protect their teeth against possible injuries due to forceful impacts.

5. Night Guard

Some people grind their teeth while sleeping, which can cause trauma to the jaw and wearing off of teeth. Wearing a nightguard will protect the patient from the aforementioned teeth and jaw conditions.

6. Snoring Device

This is a variety of a night guard specifically designed to prevent snoring. It repositions the jaw and tongue in such a way that opens the airways, reducing soft tissue vibrations that occur when one snores.

7. Tongue Thrust Dental Guard

Tongue thrusting is a habit of some. The front teeth can be in danger of shifting from the tongue’s forward pressure, so a tongue thrust dental guard will be advised to be worn in order to block the tongue’s pressure from affecting the front teeth.

8. Partial Dentures

Dentures

These are worn as a replacement for one or several missing teeth. They can be removed for cleaning.

9. Flexible Partial Dentures

Unlike traditional partial dentures that have metal, this version feels closer to the natural teeth because the base is flexible, allowing it to adjust to the movements of your teeth smoothly.

10. Full Dentures

If you lose all of your teeth, full dentures would be the only solution. Apart from restoring your teeth and smile, bone loss can also be slowed down by full dentures. If you’re worried about them falling off, you can use magnets to secure them.

Now that you’re informed about these removable dental appliances, you’ll be able to see yourself having more options and solutions for your teeth alignment or sleep issues. Our teeth and smiles should be protected at all costs, so if you’re experiencing some pain and other problems due to your teeth, consult your dentist immediately.

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