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Types of Appliances

elastics (rubber bands)

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed, and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they're worn as prescribed.




Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an overbite, with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw, or an underbite with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw. Headgear gently "pulls" on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.


palatal expander

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist 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 complete the final tooth movements in your orthodontic treatment. With your full cooperation, you should only need to wear the positioner appliance for four to eight weeks.




Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist 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.



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, toothpicks, or floss.

Transverse/ Schwartz Appliance

The Schwarz appliance is utilized to achieve transverse expansion when additional space for permanent teeth is needed. A single expansion screw is used to achieve expansion. Schwartz appliances are primarily used on the upper arch and are removable.

Cetlin Appliance

The Cetlin appliance is a removable device used to move back the upper first molars (distalize). The effect is similar to that of headgear but without the bulky exterior appliance.  

Pendulum Appliance

The Pendulum appliance is used to correct the bite by moving back the upper molars, thus retracting the upper front teeth in the proper position. The appliance uses a plastic “button” placed on the roof of the mouth as an anchor for wire springs to move the molars into their correct positions.

Lip Bumper

A lip bumper appliance is designed to create space and make room for the lower teeth. It does this by moving the lower molars toward the back of the mouth or allowing the front teeth to drift forward. It can also be used to break a lower lip-sucking habit.

Nord Appliance

The Nord is a removable lateral expansion appliance used to correct a unilateral crossbite. It uses a smooth rear bite plane on the side to be expanded and an indexed rear bite plane on the opposite side for support and anchorage.

Advancing Bite Plate

A bite plate is a small, acrylic appliance with metal clasps that clip onto the inside of the top front teeth. It is used if the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth too much (deep bite).

Anterior Bite Plate

An anterior bite plate treats a deep bite. It is a small, acrylic appliance with metal clasps that clip onto the inside of the top molars. An acrylic shelf is built into a maxillary plate near the front of the mouth where it will be contacted by the mandibular anteriors holding the bite open in the posterior region.

Reverse-Pull Headgear

Headgear gently “pulls” on the upper teeth/jaw to bring it forward. Reverse headgear can be used in conjunction with other appliances such as an expander or braces.

Sagittal Appliance

The Sagittal appliance is a removable device that fits in the roof of the mouth. Its purpose is to create room in the upper jaw by pushing one or both of the six year molars back and sometimes to increase the width of the upper jaw. This is done by turning the screw(s) that are incorporated into the appliance.


The W-Expander is the simplest version of a Quad Helix expansion appliance and can be used on either the upper or lower arch. It is used to correct unilateral or bilateral crossbites, expand posterior segments, and align crowded teeth. It can be made permanent or removable.

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