Types of Orthodontic Appliances


Traditional braces are often the treatment of choice to correct an array of dental issues, including crowding, overbite, spacing problems, and more. Traditional metal braces consist of brackets, securely bonded to your teeth, and a nickel-titanium wire that connects the brackets. Wires are held in place with elastic bands, with the colors of your choice for a fun and unique look.

Closeup of teeth with braces


Invisalign treatment uses a series of clear aligners and attachments to correct jaw alignment and move teeth into the correct position. The custom aligners are worn for one week cycles and are removed only to eat, drink, brush, and floss.

Closeup of teeth and person holding invisalign

Rubber Bands

Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves your bite and the alignment of your jaw. Most often, these rubber bands are worn on each side of the mouth. They can be hooked from your upper canines to one of your bottom molars.


Wear rubber bands as instructed and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they’re worn as prescribed.


closeup of someone putting an elastics rubber band on their braces

Herbst® Appliance

The Herbst® appliance is used to reduce an overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance stimulates your lower jaw to grow at a more rapid pace, which allows it to “catch up” to your upper jaw.


Achieving this growth prevents future extractions of your permanent teeth and even reduces the possibility of surgery. The Herbst appliance is used primarily for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12 months.

Dentures being fitted for braces

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander is an appliance that is used to create more room for properly aligned permanent teeth. Every time you turn your expander, gentle pressure is put on your molars as it expands your palate. You will learn how to turn the expander, and how often to do it at your appointment.


It is important to brush and floss the expander, expander bars, and surrounding areas in the mouth. To floss under the expander, use a floss threader, then run the floss back and forth under the expander to clean it. Using proxy brushes, given to you at your appointment, will also help keep under the expander clean and tissue healthy.

a pair of dentures with braces on the table


Your body changes your entire life, and your teeth are no different. Retainers hold your teeth in their healthy new position following active orthodontic treatment. Wearing your retainer is vital in maintaining your new perfect smile and avoiding any regression.


Retainers may be removable or fixed. We will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. With proper care, retainers can often last many years. If you lose your retainer, it appears to have lost its shape, or it no longer fits, let us know.

a closeup of a person holding a retainer

Separators or Spacers

Separators are small rubber elastics that may be placed between your teeth to create space needed for future orthodontic bands. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. With separators, you will be able to brush as normal, but sticky foods should be avoided.


It is not uncommon for the separators to fall out. If this happens, you can use floss to simply glide the separator back in place. If the separator continually falls out, and there appears to be too much space, it could mean the correct amount of space has been created. Periodically try and re-insert the separator up until the day of your next scheduled appointment.

Spacer in teeth