Forsus Springs – A Patient’s Guide
By Dr. Tyler Coles – Premier Orthodontics
Table of Contents
If you or your child has an overbite, you may have heard an orthodontist mention Forsus Springs as a possible solution. You may be wondering what to expect with Forsus springs, so this article answers what Forsus springs are, how they work, and all the details you need to know.
What are Forsus Springs?
Forsus springs are an orthodontic appliance used with braces to fix overbites.
There are a few different types of Forsus Springs, but generally all of these appliances will have certain key features in common:
- A spring that is attached to the upper teeth near the back molars.
- A push rod that “telescopes” with the spring device and pushes on the bottom teeth near the lower canine. (Telescoping refers to one portion of the appliance slides into the other portion and becomes smaller, similar to a retractable telescope)
Forsus Springs are a long-term appliance placed after a patient has been with braces for between 8-12 months. They will usually remain in the mouth for 4-6 months, or until the bite is fully corrected, after which time they will be removed by the orthodontist.
What are Forsus Springs Used For?
Forsus Springs can fix overbites in both children and adults. Overbites typically mean that the top teeth stick out too far compared to the lower teeth. Forsus Springs act to push the bottom teeth forward and the top teeth back to help correct the bite.
Forsus Springs are typically used by orthodontists when:
- A patient has difficulty wearing rubber bands (or orthodontic elastics) consistently and needs a permanent appliance.
- A patient has a large overbite that can’t be corrected by wearing orthodontic elastics alone.
- A patient or orthodontist wants to avoid extraction of permanent teeth or a headgear appliance to correct an overbite.
Keep in mind that there are many different types of overbites, and many different treatment options. Just because you or your child has an overbite does not necessarily mean that Forsus Springs are the best treatment option. An orthodontist will consider all these factors when determining if Forsus Springs are the best option for you or your child.
Want to see what they actually look like? Watch this video to see an animation of their entire function of Forsus Springs in the mouth.
Now let’s answer some common questions about Forsus Springs…
How Are Forsus Springs Installed?
The installation of Forsus Springs is a routine procedure that is relatively simple, and with very little discomfort. At your initial orthodontist appointment after Forsus Springs have been decided as the right option, they will place the springs on the arch wire and connect the push rods.
At the appointment when the Forsus Springs actually get installed, the orthodontist or orthodontic technician will first verify that the appliance fits properly. (This simply means that the appliance fits the teeth and is comfortable) There is generally no discomfort with this appointment, and the entire process takes just a bit longer than a standard visit.
Do Forsus Springs Hurt?
Forsus Springs generally don’t hurt at all when they are placed. By the time a patient gets Forsus Springs installed, they’ve usually had braces for about a year and their teeth and mouth have adapted to having orthodontic appliances already. The addition of Forsus Springs usually doesn’t cause much discomfort.
During the first week of usage, you may feel a bit of soreness and discomfort in your cheeks as you first get adjusted to the Forsus Springs. This especially happens if you sleep on one side and put pressure on your cheek all night long.
If you have trouble with your cheek getting sore, you can ask your orthodontist for a small cotton triangle that will act as a barrier and hold your cheek away from the springs while you sleep. These cotton triangles are called “dry angles.”
Dry angles are used in dentistry to help keep the teeth dry while dentists perform different procedures. These small cotton triangles can also be used to keep the cheek away from the Forsus Springs at night time in the event that any irritation occurs.
Usually after the first week or two, patients get used to their Forsus Springs and don’t have any problems. Your cheeks adapt quickly and most patients experience zero long term problems with Forsus Springs.
How Long Do You Need to Wear Forsus Springs?
Treatment length with Forsus Springs will vary depending on each patient’s age and the severity of bite correction needed. Generally speaking, most patients will wear Forsus Springs between 3 and 6 months.
At Premier Orthodontics, we have a standard protocol:
- A patient will first have braces for about a year to align the teeth and close any spaces.
- Once ready, Forsus springs are installed. The patient is seen at 6 week intervals to check on the progress of the bite correction.
- Remove the Forsus springs once the bite is fully corrected.
- Final adjustments and details are done for the next 3-4 appointments to complete the braces treatment.
How Do I Clean Forsus Springs?
The Forsus Springs have some small parts that may lead to extra pockets of food particles to get stuck. Because of this, they will require a little more cleaning than regular braces. Below are the three steps one should take to make sure Forsus Springs stay clean.
- Brush thoroughly and regularly – The tooth brush is still the best tool when it comes to cleaning. Make sure to scrub the teeth as well as the springs. After brushing, look closely at the appliance and see if there are any food particles remaining.
- Floss the teeth that the appliance is connected to – Do your best to floss between the teeth that the appliance is connected to. It might feel a bit awkward at first with the different parts of the appliance, but with practice you should be able to effectively floss around these teeth.
- Use a Waterpik to thoroughly clean around the appliance – A Waterpik is a great tool to clean around any hard-to-reach areas, especially between the teeth. The Waterpik is nearly as effective as floss when it comes to cleaning the gums. If you’re going to be wearing Forsus Springs for several months, a Waterpik is a good investment to make.
Want to learn more about how to brush and floss with braces? Check out our video below
What if a Problem Occurs With the Forsus Springs?
Some problems that may occur with Forsus Springs include:
- One of the brackets near the appliance becomes loose.
- The push rod becomes disengaged from the spring when you open wide.
- Your cheek begins to feel sore due to the pressure.
These are nothing to worry about. Here are the most common solutions.
Solution to #1 – In the event that one of the brackets on the top or bottom teeth become loose while wearing Forsus Springs you should call your orthodontist office right away to have it repaired.
Solution to #2 – If you happen to open wide and the push rod comes out of the telescoping spring, this is something you may be able to fix at home. To fix this, you simply open wide, compress the spring, and try to place the push rod back into the telescoping spring.
If you aren’t able to fix it at home, you should call your orthodontic office and they can help fix it in the office.
Solution to #3 – If you are getting sore cheeks from the Forsus Springs, this generally will pass after a few days. If this discomfort continues, your orthodontist may be able to give you dry angles to place between the appliance and your cheek that should help your cheek to recover and begin feeling better.
What Happens After Forsus Springs are Removed?
When Forsus Springs are removed and the overbite is corrected is when the “finishing” stage begins. This means that the orthodontist will make any adjustments or details needed to get all of the teeth and bite into the correct position.
This finishing stage could take anywhere from 2 to 6 months depending on what is needed for the individual patient.
How Much Do Forsus Springs Cost?
Prices will vary depending on each situation and each office. At Premier Orthodontics, the cost of Forsus Springs are included with the cost of braces.
Forsus Springs - Before and After
Want to see real results? Below are a few patients treated at Premier Orthodontics using Forsus Springs to fix their overbites.
Forsus Springs - The Pros and Cons
Like any other orthodontic treatment out there, there are pros and cons to Forsus Springs. Below are some of the details one should be aware of.
Benefits of Forsus Springs
- Forsus Springs help correct overbites.
- Forsus Springs do not require much patient cooperation to manage – once they are placed, they stay there until you are ready to have them out.
- Forsus Springs help avoid the need to extract permanent teeth or wear headgear to fix overbites.
Drawbacks of Forsus Springs
- It may cause some initial discomfort.
- Eating with Forsus Springs may be difficult during the first couple of weeks.
- The appliance can sometimes cause irritation to the cheeks, especially in the initial two weeks after placement.
- Forsus Springs can interfere with mouthguards used for sports (this may not be the best choice for certain types of athletes).
How Can I Tell if My Child or I Needs Forsus Springs?
If you think you or your child may need Forsus Springs, the best place to start is by getting a free consultation with an orthodontist in your area. If you live in or around the Phoenix, Arizona area we would love to provide you and your child with a free consultation for braces and to determine if Forsus Springs would be the best choice for you or your child.
Getting with Braces with Forsus Springs in Phoenix, Chandler, Maricopa, and Casa Grande
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