Certain procedures will require different appliances to get all teeth in their proper positions. Find out more about certain appliances that we use on this page

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

To successfully complete your orthodontic treatment plan, patients must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the elastics (rubber bands), headgear or other appliances as prescribed.

The following paragraphs describe the types of appliances that may be used during your treatment.

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Elastics Braces Rubberbands
Wearing elastics (rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed because the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they are worn as prescribed.

Headgear
Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an “overbite,” (with the uppers forward of the lowers) or an “underbite” (with the lowers forward of the uppers). Headgear gently “pulls” on your teeth to restrict or encourage further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.

Palatal Expander
The palatal expander “expands” (widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. Walker will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.

Positioners
Positioners complete the final tooth movements in your orthodontic treatment. With your full cooperation, you should only need to wear the positioner appliance for 4-8 weeks.

Retainers
Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. We will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment. Click here for more information on how to care for your retainer.

Separators (or Spacers)
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods or with toothpicks and floss.

Forsus
Forsus appliances are used in conjunction with braces to normalize any discrepancies between the upper and lower jaws. This appliance is not removable by the patient.

This appliance postures the patient’s lower jaw in a forward position, helping to eliminate excessive overbites, improve the fit of teeth and possibly prevent the need for jaw surgery. The major advantage of this system over headgear or elastics is that its effectiveness does not rely on patient cooperation.