Why: The holding arch is a space maintaining appliance. It is attached to the lower first molars and connected by a wire that runs along the inside of the lower teeth. It works to prevent lower molars from moving forward, where they could block permanent teeth from erupting properly. It is most commonly used in children who have crowding issues, or who have lost their baby teeth prematurely. The holding arch is glued into place, it is not something that you can take in and out.
What to Expect: Because the wire is on the tongue side of the teeth, the wire is felt by the patient. However, there is not pressure or discomfort associated with the appliance. It is important to keep the appliance as clean as possible. Make sure to brush around the wire twice a day. It is very important to not eat anything too sticky while you have the appliance in. Things like taffy and caramels could pull the bands off the molars making the appliance loose.
How Long: We usually leave the holding arch in until all of the permanent teeth have erupted.