I work as a clerical assistant in a pediatric dental office, and I am commonly surprised by the number of children who are scared of the dentist. Many kids think that cleanings will be painful, and they believe they will be scolded for eating sugary foods. Children are also extremely frightful of the noises made by the water spraying tools and the suction devices. As adults, we know that dental cleanings are easy and free of pain. We need to impart this knowledge to our children so they know not to fear the dentist. I have provided blogs that will help you speak with your child about dental care. Good communication, trips to your own dentist, and online videos can assist you. So will good brushing techniques that will make your child proud to see the dentist. Enjoy my articles so you can help your child build oral care confidence.
If you will be having your teeth straightened by using braces, you may be wondering what all the different tools that will be used by your orthodontist. Here are some common tools used so you can better understand what they are.
Banding pliers will be used to help place the elastic separators between your molars so that a band can be placed between them. The tool will help open up the elastic separators as wide as possible, which thins out the elastic and allows it to be pushed between the teeth. The separators are left in for several days to open up the teeth and to make placing the metal band easy.
Bracket Placement Gauge
You'll notice the orthodontist using a tool that resembles a weirdly shaped ninja throwing star, with four pointed ends in a star pattern that are joined in the center. This is the bracket placement gauge, and its purpose is to help measure each tooth to determine where each bracket will be placed on your teeth. The orthodontist uses this when the brackets are initially placed on your teeth, and with this tool will verify the height and angle that the brackets are placed at.
The archwire is carefully placed on each tooth using a special set of pliers, known as Weingart pliers. These help the orthodontist have control over the wire while connecting it to the brackets, all while not causing damage to the wire in the process.
You may be surprised to see that there are about a half a dozen different used by an orthodontist to install the braces on your teeth. Distal pliers have the specific purpose of cutting the arch wire so that it is the proper length. It can also help with removing the archwire at the end of the treatment.
Band Contouring Pliers
If the orthodontist needs to change the shape of the wire once it has been placed on your teeth, band contouring pliers can be used to help move the wire into the shape that is needed.
Your orthodontist will not want your lips and cheeks getting in the way of the process of installing braces. They'll place a cheek retractor in your mouth, which opens up your mouth and exposes the gums. The retractor will prevent you from unintentionally closing your mouth.
A special light is used to cure adhesives that hold the brackets to your teeth. The light will be briefly shined on the bracket to ensure that the bracket does not move once it is in the correct position.