Orthodontic Appliances in Littleton

There’s more to orthodontic care than just braces and Invisalign®. We provide orthodontic appliances to prevent teeth from becoming crooked in the first place, to help prepare for a treatment, and to maintain the beautiful results after a procedure is complete. To learn more about any of these services and how they might help you or your child, contact Summit Family Orthodontics today!

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Palatal Expanders

When the upper arch isn’t wide enough or there’s not enough room in the mouth for teeth to come in properly, it can end up causing crowding, impacted teeth (teeth blocked from erupting), or a misaligned bite. If we notice this to be the case with you or your child, we can design a palatal expander, which will gently apply pressure to create more space. Palatal expanders are most often used with kids because early orthodontic treatment helps reduce their need for a more intensive procedure in the future.

Space Maintainers

Baby teeth may fall out eventually, but they serve an important purpose: holding the space where permanent teeth should come in. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, it can cause nearby teeth to shift into the gap, possibly resulting in crooked teeth or crowding. Like its name suggests, a space maintainer holds that space open so the permanent tooth can erupt correctly. Saving space from the get-go is easier than trying to make more room in the future.


We know how exciting it is to finally complete your orthodontic treatment, but to make sure you preserve all that hard work straightening out your teeth, it’s important to wear retainers. Retainers can be removable or a lingual wire (a wire bonded behind your teeth), and they prevent your teeth from shifting out of their perfect positions. After designing your retainers, we’ll give you instructions for how long to wear your retainers each day.

Oral Appliance FAQs

Do these oral appliances hurt?

Some of our oral appliances, most notably the palatal expander, can cause some slight discomfort. However, we work with you and your child to ensure that they feel comfortable throughout their oral appliance treatment and we adjust accordingly to meet their needs.

How do I properly care for my child’s space maintainer?

Make sure that your child avoids eating any hard or sticky foods as this can damage or pull out the space maintainer. It’s also important to thoroughly brush along the gumline and floss under the space maintainer to prevent food debris or bacteria from gathering underneath it. As always, biannual dental visits are a great way to ensure that your child’s space maintainer is still in great shape!

When should children be wearing retainers?

Retainers are most commonly used to keep teeth in their proper positions following the completion of orthodontic treatment. After your child has their braces removed, we’ll create a custom retainer for them. For the first month, we ask that your child wear their retainer throughout the day and night (apart from eating and brushing their teeth). Then, your child will only have to wear it while they sleep.

How do I know which oral appliance my child needs?

Every oral appliance plays a unique role. When you and your child come in for a consultation, we’ll examine their smiles and take X-rays to see if they’re in need of an oral appliance such as a space maintainer or a palatal expander. If your child just finished orthodontic treatment, they will receive a retainer.

Colorful retainers

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Summit Family Orthodontics

Summit Family Orthodontics