Cavities, Bad Breath and Other Embarrassing Topics

Tooth Positioning Technology Explained

Orthodontics, the specialist area of dentistry that deals with the position of teeth in the mouth, is constantly innovating, and there are many new techniques which have been developed to help with repositioning teeth. Orthodontic treatments, including rudimentary methods such as using materials like catgut in the mouth, have a long history which goes back as far as Ancient Greece.

These days, however, many of the latest devices are highly-engineered and custom made products that are tailored to the individual mouth. Teeth reformers and repositioning devices now come in many forms, and it is worthwhile understanding all of the options available to you before opting for a particular treatment. Read on to take a look at some of the most popular methods in use today.


With the ability to close up gaps between teeth, custom braces have been around for decades and are a tried and tested option often favoured for teenage oral development. In fact, anyone with a malocclusion can benefit from braces, which don't just cause teeth to close up towards their nearest neighbours, but can also deal with twisted teeth in some cases. A pair of braces will make a smile look better because the incisors show greater uniformity. Equally, chewing can be improved as both the upper and lower molars are shifted into positions whereby they meet one another better.

Functional Appliances

Unlike fixed active appliances, such as braces, functional appliances alter the position of the jaw to create their effect. They are sometimes also referred to as dentofacial orthopaedic appliances or facemasks. In effect, these gadgets are used to correct the alignment of teeth by putting low-level pressure on the mandible to reposition it over time. Therefore, they tend to be used in cases where the patient has bite problems. The commonest of these are overbite and underbite. Most functional appliances need to be worn full time and will commonly slow down the rate of growth of either the upper or the lower jaw in order to allow the other one to catch up, thus allowing more room for teeth.

Forsus Appliance

This device is a fixed type of functional appliance which, unlike facemasks, cannot be removed by the wearer. Used for dealing with moderate overbites, a forsus appliance is spring loaded and uses the power in the spring to apply pressure onto the upper molars. A similar device, the Herbst appliance, is also used for this purpose but works by arresting the lower molars rather than pushing on the upper ones.