Types of Appliances
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Elastics (or rubber bands) are used to improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth. It is important to wear rubber bands as instructed by your doctor to gain the maximum results.
The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device offers an alternative to headgear. The forsus promotes growth in adolescents to help eliminate excessive overbites, improve the fit of teeth, and possibly prevent the need for jaw surgery.
Headgear is an appliance used to treat patients with jaw abnormalities such as an overbite where the upper jaw is forward of the lower jaw, or an underbite where the lower jaw is forward of the upper jaw. Headgear gently “pulls” on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.
The Herbst® appliance works to reduce an overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is recommended mostly for younger, growing children and is typically worn for 12-15 months.
The palatal expander is used to “expand” (or widen) your upper jaw by placing gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. You adjust your expander at home following the instructions of your orthodontist. Once you reach the desired level of expansion, you will be instructed to wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.
Positioners complete the final tooth movements in your orthodontic treatment. If you wear your positioner as instructed, you should only need to wear the positioner appliance for four to eight weeks.
Retainers come in both removable and fixed varieties. Retainers are used to hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist will instruct you on the proper care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. You must wear your retainer as directed to prevent the regression of your treatment.
Separators or Spacers
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that are placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. When wearing separators, be sure to avoid sticky foods, toothpicks, and floss.
Twin Block Appliance
The twin block appliance involves teamwork between two separate appliances (one for the upper arch and one for the lower arch) to achieve an advanced lower jaw position. This appliance is removable but should be worn full time, even while eating but can be removed for your oral hygiene routine. The twin block appliance is made out of smooth acrylic and utilizes fewer wires, making it a very comfortable and patient-friendly appliance.