Types of Appliances
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Elastics (or rubber bands) help your upper and lower teeth fit better. Wear rubber bands as directed, and keep in mind that rubber bands perform much more effectively when worn as prescribed.
It is used to help people who have teeth that are in 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. In order to keep your upper teeth and jaw from growing too far forward, your doctor prescribes headgear.
Overbite can be reduced with the Herbst® appliance, which moves the lower jaw forward and moves the upper molars backward to make room for them. Children under the age of five are the most likely to use this type of fixed appliance. It is worn for about 12-15 months.
By gently pressing on your upper teeth each time an adjustment is made, the palatal expander widens your upper jaw. Your orthodontist will tell you when or how to move your expander. When you get the expansion you need, you will wear the appliance for a few months to make sure the expansion is secure and to keep it from going back.
Retainers may either be detachable or permanent. After your teeth have been straightened, these retainers keep your teeth in their new locations. For the length of your retention phase, your orthodontist will provide you specific instructions on how to take care of your retainer. If you don’t wear your retainer as instructed, your treatment will regress.
Separators or Spacers
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that are put between your teeth to spread them apart and allow for the placement of orthodontic bands at your next session. Separators will be removed prior to band placement. Separators and sticky foods, toothpicks, and floss do not combine well.