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Your Guide to a Nance (Holding) Appliance

child wearing nance appliance smiles

Orthodontic appliances are often used as companions in braces or Invisalign treatment. And a nance holding appliance, or simply a nance appliance, is just one of many types of orthodontic appliances.

At your first visit, Dr. Jewett will perform a visual exam of your teeth and jaws, examine your digital x-rays, and create a custom treatment plan 100% for you, based on your smile needs and goals! If he’s recommended a nance appliance for you or your child, you’ll receive a full treatment guide and have all your questions addressed.

But for now, let’s talk about the nance appliance!

What exactly is a Nance Appliance?

The nance holding appliance simply holds your top molars in place during your orthodontic treatment—keeping them in healthy alignment. A nance appliance can be used after tooth extraction or if your child is awaiting their permanent premolars to erupt. If there is any space in your mouth, your teeth will start to shift and grow to fill the empty space. This can set the stage for common orthodontic issues such as overcrowding or lead to painful dental conditions such as impacted teeth. A nance appliance is extremely effective in stopping your teeth from rotating or shifting, allowing the needed room for growing or transforming smiles!

What does a nance appliance look like?

A nance appliance is similar in appearance to a pendulum appliance! At the center of this appliance is an acrylic plate about the size of a quarter. A stainless steel metal wire is then connected to the acrylic pad and secured at the ends with two metal loops (bands) that wrap around your top first molars. This appliance is then attached to the roof of your mouth, hidden behind your front teeth. A nance appliance is also fixed or bonded to your molars and the roof of your mouth with dental glue.

When is a Nance Appliance Used?

A nance appliance will hold your upper molars in healthy alignment until your child’s permanent premolars come in or until your orthodontic treatment is finished. Dr. Jewett typically uses this orthodontic device in the following situations for children and adults:

After Tooth Extraction
If there’s not enough room for crowded teeth to shift into healthy alignment using a pendulum appliance, Dr. Jewett may recommend tooth extraction. In the case of where a top tooth (commonly a canine) in front of your molars is removed, a nance appliance is the best space maintainer! Helping to prevent your upper molars from drifting forward while you undergo orthodontic treatment to shift overcrowded front teeth, wait for partial dentures, or dental implants.

To Adjust Molars
A nance appliance is special in that it can be used to expand or rotate your upper molars as well. When your molars are crooked, this can affect your bite by putting pressure on the surrounding teeth or cause lower teeth to shift.

With Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)
Several orthodontic appliances can be used in sync with each other. TADs are titanium alloy screws secured to your jaw bone as an anchor to help guide your teeth to a fixed point, similar to a dental implant. A nance appliance can work with TADs to help move your molars as a unit.

Caring for your Nance Appliance

When wearing a nance appliance, pay special attention to the areas your appliance is secured—especially behind your front teeth as your gums can be easily irritated here.

Because a nance appliance is bonded to your teeth and the roof of your mouth, it’s extremely important to maintain a good oral health routine! Here’s a few more tips on caring for your nance appliance:

  1. Drink water with every meal. Gently swishing water after finishing a snack or meal will help remove food particles from your teeth and appliance.
  2. Gently brush your teeth, gums, and appliance 3-4 times a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush to keep your smile happy and healthy.
  3. Floss diligently at least once a day. Using a waterpik makes flossing around your nance appliance easy and keeps it free of plaque! Pay special attention to the bands secured to your molars! Keeping your appliance and teeth clean also helps prevent discomfort and cavities.
  4. Avoid hard, sticky and sweet foods which can damage the appliance, causing an emergency orthodontic visit. We recommend eating softer foods.
  5. Avoid carbonated beverages which can cause staining or discoloration.
  6. Check your appliance daily. If your nance appliance becomes loose or a part becomes unglued, call our Johnson City office for an appointment as soon as possible!

Support a Healthy Smile with a Nance Appliance

Only a certified orthodontist can determine if the nance appliance is the best appliance to support your smile transformation. If you’ve recently had a tooth extraction or are worried about crooked molars, contact us for your complimentary orthodontic exam! Our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Jewett can examine your smile and customize your treatment to give you the best possible smile results.

Get started on your smile journey today!