Several types of oral appliances can be used to straighten teeth or correct jaw position. The three main types of appliances are fixed, removable, and functional braces. Fixed braces are very good for correcting complex problems and are attached to the teeth for as long as treatment takes place. Previously, fixed braces were only available in stainless steel. Today, fixed braces are made of less noticeable materials like tooth-colored ceramics and clear acrylic. Removable braces can be taken off for cleaning. They're most often used for simple orthodontic problems, such as moving a single tooth. Functional braces are used to correct abnormal growth patterns in the jaws; and they're also removable for cleaning. Another oral appliance is called a retainer. The retainer is worn after treatment with braces to hold the teeth in their corrected position. Your orthodontist may require you to wear headgear. Headgear is a system of straps and wires worn over the head that attaches to your braces and helps in tooth movement. Contact an orthodontist for more information on oral appliances.
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