Adults and children alike can benefit from the results of orthodontic treatment. A beautiful smile, improved dental health, improved facial profile and a boost in self confidence are some of the many results of orthodontic treatment.

An individual diagnosis and treatment plan is based upon the patient history, clinical examination and diagnostic records. This enables us to make informed decisions in determining what type of appliance will provide the best results. Treatment times vary depending upon the severity of the problem as well as patient growth and compliance. Treatment typically lasts from one to two years. Once treatment is completed. retainers are worn to maintain the results.

We have harnessed the most advanced technology available in orthodontics to provide you with state of the art care. From our digital x-ray equipment and digital imaging systems to our heat activated nickel titanium arch wires, we have taken the steps necessary to provide you and your family with the most advanced care available as efficiently as possible.

We strongly believe in non-extraction treatment. This allows for our patients to keep all of their teeth and allows for a fuller. healthier smile.

Elastics move the teeth in a direction that cannot be accomplished with braces alone.

Your teeth and jaws may be tender the first few days of wearing the elastics. This is normal and should begin to disappear within a week. If your soreness persists longer, please call our office.

Attaching your elastics may seem hard initially. However, with a little time and patience, you will be able to accomplish your task easily. Elastic wear must be constant to be effective – 24 hours a day – 7 days a week, unless otherwise
indicated. You may remove the elastics only when eating your meals or brushing your teeth. Be sure to replace the elastics with new ones immediately following mealtime and brushing. Part-time wear does NOT move teeth, but it does cause them to be constantly sore.

Change the elastics routinely even if they are not broken. After a while. Elastics lose their strength. Change them at least after each meal and before bedtime. If one elastic breaks, replace both sides.

Carry extra elastics with you at all times. If you don’t have enough elastics to last until your next appointment, please stop by our office and pick more up or call us and we can send more to you. We don’t want you to run out!

Elastic wear is an important key to the speed of your treatment and the final results we can achieve. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns.

One of the ways we can move your jaw bones and teeth is through the use of an appliance called a headgear. The headgear uses the back of the neck or the back of the head to provide force to the teeth to help create a beautiful smile. The doctor uses headgear to hold back the growth of the upper jaw and to allow the lower jaw to grow. Your headgear will fit in tubes on the molar bands. Headgear is a removable appliance that is usually worn during the evening and night time hours. The more you wear headgear the better it works, and the treatment time can be reduced by wearing it.

When braces are in place, headgear is used in many ways to redirect jaw growth:
  • To move the upper molars back to fit with the lower molars.
  • To hold the upper molars back while the upper front teeth are moved back into position.

When headgear is prescribed:

Patients do not need to wear their headgear to school, work or during active
sports. It must be worn at least 10 hours each day (unless otherwise instructed). Consistent daily use is essential to achieve success in treatment. Never allow headgear to be damaged, never roughhouse with headgear on.

When wearing headgear expect:

To feel some pressure when the strap is attached to the facebow, and relief of
the pressure when the strap is detached.

  • The molars to ache and be slightly loosened as tooth movement occurs.
  • A band to become loose, occasionally. If this happens please call our office for an appointment to have your band re-cemented.

At each appointment in our office, make sure to bring your headgear so we can check and adjust it.

Remember, how well you wear your headgear determines how long you need to wear it!

Removing braces signals the start of the retention and observation period of your orthodontic care. Please remember that this part of your orthodontic treatment is just as important as the active movement phase in determining the ultimate success of your treatment. Once the teeth have been moved into their desired positions, a period of time is needed to stabilize the teeth so that the surrounding bone and soft tissue can conform to your new dental alignment. When braces are removed, it is a good time to review several important aspects of care.

Patients in the retention phase are seen periodically in our office during the first Year after braces are removed. Patients will continue to see the doctor until he feels they can be dismissed from treatment. It is then the patient’s responsibility to wear a retainer as prescribed. Please call our office if you have any concerns regarding your retainer.

Typically, a removable retainer is worn at night only. A bonded retainer may be used on the inside of the lower front teeth and in some cases on the inside of the upper front teeth. This bonded retainer will be worn indefinitely as long as there are no problems with oral hygiene. If a decision to remove your bonded retainer is made. a removable retainer may be fabricated and will be worn while sleeping.

For lasting success from orthodontic treatment:

Wear your retainer as prescribed.

  • Don’t let your retainer get bent or otherwise damaged.
  • Call for a repair appointment if your retainer is damaged or loosened.
  • Keep your retainer clean, brush it regularly.
  • Keep your retainer in its case when not being worn.
  • Be committed to maintaining your beautiful smile.

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is for patients whose upper jaw is narrow. Your Rapid Palatal Expander gently widens the upper arch (palate) by stretching the center palatal connective suture. Once widened, the suture knits together. The Rapid Palatal Expander is prescribed only prior to completion of growth. A parent or the patient adjusts the Rapid Palatal Expander daily as instructed, until the palate has been widened enough.

Rapid Palatal Expander

Before the Rapid Palatal Expander feels comfortable, the patient may sense some initial pressure and expect:

  • To feel a tingling sensation across the bridge of the nose
  • To feel pressure in the cheek area
  • To see a space appear between the upper two front teeth
  • A hunger sensation
  • Impaired speech, initially reading a book will help

Remember when brushing:

  • Use a Proxabrush and a regular toothbrush
  • A waterpik is helpful to dislodge food that gets caught in the expander


A special key is used to activate the Rapid Palatal Expander:

  • Insert the key into the key slot; the key is bent, therefore it will not touch
    the roof of the mouth
  • Push the key all the way from front to back. Look for the next hole to rotate forward enough so you will be able to place the key into the next hole to turn your Rapid Palatal Expander
  • Remove the key

Separators are usually placed between the molars one week prior to fitting braces. The separators may cause slight discomfort for a few hours. They gently wedge the back teeth apart to make it easier to cement the back bands.

Do not eat any sticky foods or remove the separators.

A Thumb Crib is used to help stop finger or thumb sucking habits that move your teeth out of line. This appliance is a constant reminder to help stop a certain habit.

When wearing a Thumb Crib, you can expect some discomfort to your tongue. As you get used to your appliance, eating and speaking will become easier.

At Potter Orthodontics we want to make sure that you are informed in every step of your treatment. Don’t see what you need here? Feel free to contact us at either one of our offices and we will gladly answer any questions you may have or talk about your options! Yorba Linda Office: (714) 528-4540 Fullerton: (714) 526-3331

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