Lenk Orthodontics
228 Commons Pkwy.
Daleville, VA 24083
Phone: 540-966-3990
Fax: 540-966-3997
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Retainers | Pendulum | Headgear | Herbst | Lip Bumpers
Lower Lingual Holding Arch | Palatal Expander | Thumb/Finger Appliance
Reverse Pull Headgear/Face Mask


When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you've put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.

Hawley (Removable) Retainers

Hawley retainerThe Hawley retainer, one of the most common types, is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic, and is designed to keep your teeth in place. This retainer is specially made from impressions of your teeth so that it fits snugly and comfortably in the roof of your mouth, while any wire or acrylic framing keeps your teeth in perfect position. The acrylic can also be personalized with a large number of colors and/or patterns – check with our office for more details.

Essix (Clear) Retainers

Essix retainerThe Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Similar to Invisalign® trays, Essix retainers have no wires. They are inexpensive and easier to wear. They can be used for other treatments as well, including tooth movement and bridges.

Lingual (Bonded) Retainers

Bonded lingual retainerBonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause teeth to shift quickly. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire. If your retainer breaks at any time during treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.

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Pendex PendulumThe Pendulum appliance is used to correct Class II malocclusions with moderate "overbite." This fixed appliance is bonded to the upper premolar teeth. It is used to create space for upper teeth by distalizing (moving back) the upper molars. It is made of acrylic and various types of orthodontic wire. It is often in place for 5 to 8 months.

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Head GearThe Headgear appliance helps correct excessive overbite by placing pressure on the upper teeth and jaw, to keep teeth in position or move teeth back into better positions. Headgear can also be used as an orthopedic appliance to help control jaw growth. In this instance, the upper jaw is held in place, while the lower jaw continues to grow forward. The degree of pressure and length of time the appliance is worn depends on the severity of the problem. Generally, orthopedic changes occur over an extended period of while the patient is still growing. To produce optimal results, headgear must be worn each night.

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HerbstOne of the most common problems orthodontists treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. Ordinarily, when we see a patient with the upper teeth protruding, we tend to think that the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward; but, more often than not, this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is further back than it should be. With these patients, we would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and braces like the Herbst appliance help this happen.

Even though the Herbst appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movement still occur easily, and patients do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.

As with all kinds of braces, patients with Herbst appliances need to be careful about what they eat. For instance, cold foods such as ice slushes, Popsicles and ice will freeze the cement and make the brace loosen. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and candy suckers will pull the brace away from the teeth. Hard foods like crisp vegetables and hard candies will bend and loosen the Herbst appliance, too. So stay away from these foods during your orthodontic treatment.

Your Herbst appliance will be checked and adjusted at your appointments. If, sometimes between appointments, you develop some sore areas on the inside of your cheeks, please do not try to adjust the appliance yourself. Call for an appointment so that the necessary adjustments can be made.

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Lip Bumpers

Lip BumperWe like to avoid pulling teeth as often as possible, so we use lip bumpers on our patients who need to create more room for their crowded teeth. The lip bumper is a wire on the lower jaw that extends from one molar to another and keeps lips and cheeks from touching your teeth. When you move your mouth or speak, your lips and cheeks push on the bumper, and the bumper applies pressure to the teeth. This pressure pushes the molars back, creating more space for overcrowded teeth.

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Lower Lingual Holding Arch (LLHA)

Lower Lingual Holding ArchThe Lower Lingual Holding Arch is a fixed space maintainer appliance. It consists of two metal bands that are attached to the lower first molars, which are connected by a wire located along the inside of the lower teeth. This appliance keeps the lower molars from moving.

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Palatal Expander

Palatal ExpanderThe Palatal Expander is used to widen the upper jaw. To do so, the upper jaw must not be firmly attached to the rest of the skull. Permitted that the sutures that attach the upper jaw to the rest of the skull are open (up to age 13 in females and up to age 15 in males), the palatal expander can successfully widen the jaw.

How to Activate the Rapid Palatal Expander

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Thumb/Finger Appliance

thumbSucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, talk to your dentist.

One solution to thumb sucking is an appliance called a "fixed palatal crib." This appliance is put on the child's upper teeth by an orthodontist. It's placed behind on the upper teeth on the roof of the mouth. The crib consists of semicircular stainless steel wires that are fastened to molars using steel bands. The stainless steel wires fit behind the child's upper front teeth, and they are barely visible. The crib usually stops the habit of thumb sucking within the first day of use.

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Reverse Pull Headgear/Face mask

head_gearOften referred to as reverse-pull headgear, the protraction face mask is a removable appliance for patients where the upper jaw is not growing fast enough, resulting in a crossbite or underbite. The device consists of a metal bar attached to pads on the forehead and chin with rubber bands hooked to the face mask and the upper braces to gradually move the upper jaw forward. Patient compliance is extremely important as the face mask must be worn a set number of hours per day or more to obtain the desired results. The face mask device is generally worn for six to 12 months.

Face mask and Growth Modification Instructions

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