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Types of appliances

Braces
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Headgear
Palatal Expander
Retainers
Separators or Spacers
 
   Braces
Braces is the word commonly used to describe a fixed orthodontic appliance, usually comprised of brackets, bands, wires and ligatures. The archwire is held to each bracket with a ligature, which can be either a tiny elastic or a twisted wire.
 The archwire is tied to all of the brackets and creates force to move teeth into proper alignment.
 Brackets are connected to the bands, or directly bonded on the teeth, and hold the archwire in place. Bands are cemented rings of metal that wrap around the (back) teeth.

 
   Elastics (Rubber Bands)
During certain stages of treatment, small elastics or rubber bands are worn to provide individual tooth movement or jaw alignment.

 
   Headgear
An appliance worn (partially) outside of the mouth to provide traction for growth modification and tooth movement. A headgear is primarily used to move the upper first molars back, creating room for crowded or protrusive front teeth. The headgear consists of a facebow and a neck strap. The facebow has an internal wire bow and an external wire bow. The internal bow attaches to tubes that are on the upper molar bands inside the mouth and the outer bow attaches to the neck strap.

 
   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.


 
   Retainers
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.