Types of Appliances

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Elastics or rubber bands are used to improve the relationship between your upper and lower teeth' positions. Be sure to wear your rubber bands as instructed, you will see the best results this way.


The Forsus is a device that can perform the same tasks as headgear by promoting growth in teens while reducing excessive overbites, improving the way teeth fit together, and even preventing the need for jaw surgery.


Headgear is used to improve the bite relationship in patients who exhibit an overbite or underbite. Headgear works by “pulling” on your teeth to prevent your jaw and upper teeth from growing or moving further forward,

Herbst® Appliance

The Herbst® appliance is also used to improve a bite relationship by reducing an overbite. However, this appliance encourages the lower jaw forward while encouraging the upper molars back. This appliance is preferred for younger children in the growth phase; treatment with this appliance typically lasts 12-15 months.

Palatal Expander

As implied by its name, a palatal expander widens the upper jaw by placing pressure on the upper molars. This appliance is adjusted at home, your orthodontist will provide you with instructions about how often to adjust your expander. Once the jaw is widened enough, you will still be asked to wear the appliance for a few additional months to allow the bone to harden and the expansion to become permanent.


Positioners are used as the final step to complete your tooth movements. If you wear the positioner appliance as directed, this part of the treatment should be complete in four to eight weeks.


Retainers are appliances that keep your teeth in their new positions after they have been repositioned. Retainers come in removable or fixed versions. Wearing your retainer for the prescribed number of hours is very important to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.

Separators or Spacers

Separators are used to push teeth apart to make space for orthodontic bands. Separators look like teeny tiny rubber doughnuts and are a temporary device usually worn only for a few weeks. Be sure to avoid sticky foods, toothpicks, and floss while wearing separators.

Twin Block Appliance

The twin block appliance involves taking two different appliances that work together to create a new lower jaw position. One appliance focuses on the upper arch while the other handles the lower arch. This appliance is comfortable for the patient and is worn full-time, even while eating. However, the appliance is removable for easy cleaning. This appliance is created from smooth acrylic and uses very few wires, making it the most comfortable jaw-correcting appliance.

MARA Appliance

MARA or Mandibular Anterior Repositioning Appliance is a permanent appliance that stimulates the growth of the lower jaw to help correct severe overbites and minimize the need for extractions or orthognathic surgery.

The MARA appliance is anchored to the molars using either crowns, modified crowns, or bands. The lower attachments of the appliance are fixed to the molars. The upper attachments are removable to enable your orthodontist to make adjustments according to your treatment plan.