Specializing in Smiles

Types of Appliances

Elastics (rubber bands)

Elastics (or rubber bands) are a vital part of treatment because they add extra pressure to the braces to help move teeth. Remember that patient compliance is key! You must remember to wear the elastics as prescribed and change them once a day.


Headgear is used to correct an overbite, which occurs when the upper jaw extends over the lower jaw, or an underbite, when the lower jaw extends out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth. Headgear places pressure against the teeth and jaw by gently pulling the teeth to the correct position.

Herbst® Appliance

Used to treat overbites, the Herbst appliance helps move the lower jaw forward. This appliance is mostly used for younger children and is typically worn for about 12-15 months.

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander is used to create a wider space in the upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on both sides of the jaw with each adjustment. You will be given instructions on how to properly adjust your expander.


A positioner is a mouthpiece used after braces are removed to help guide teeth into their ideal position - thus completing the final tooth movements. Many orthodontists recommend using a positioner for 4-8 weeks before transitioning to a retainer.


There are two types of retainers – fixed and removable. Retainers are used to prevent your teeth from shifting from their correct positions once braces have been removed. You will receive instructions on how to wear and care for your retainer. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far.

Separators or Spacers

Separators (spacers) are small elastics that fit snugly between certain teeth to move them slightly so bands can be placed around them at your next appointment. Separators can fall out on their own if enough space has already been created or will be removed before the bands are placed.