Appliances are used during various stages of the orthodontic process, either to retain the new position of teeth, or in some cases to influence the growth of the jaws for a better bite alignment. Appliances may be fixed or removable.

Types of Appliances

  • Spacers (Separators): Spacers are plastic rings that are inserted between the back teeth before you have braces, providing space for comfortable band placement.  If a spacer comes out, call our office to see if you need a replacement. Do not chew sticky foods or floss teeth that have spacers in them.
  • Palatal Expander: Designed to widen your upper jaw, a palatal expander applies outward pressure on your upper molars to slowly expand your palate.
  • Habit Breaker: A fixed appliance designed to stop a parafunctional habit, such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting or nail biting.
  • Bite Plate: This appliance can be removable or fixed and it’s designed to correct deep, impinging bites.
  • FORSUS® Appliance: This fixed orthodontic appliance is used in conjunction with the braces to correct overbites.
  • Facemask (RPHG): Used in conjunction with a palatal expander.  It is most commonly used in younger patients, where growth modification is easier to achieve, in order to correct an underbite or prognathic profile.
  • Retainers: Used after braces are removed to hold teeth in their new positions. You must wear your retainer as prescribed to prevent regression of your treatment.
  • Elastics (Rubber Bands): Rubber bands are used with fixed braces. They must be worn at all times and changed daily per our instructions.

Care of Appliances

As with retainers, all orthodontic appliances should be worn as prescribed. They should be brushed and cleaned while you brush your teeth, if intra-oral, or once a day if extra-oral.  If removed for eating or sports, it should be placed in its case, never in a pocket or napkin where it may break or get thrown away.

Pain and Soreness

It is normal for new or recently adjusted appliances to cause soreness or a slight alteration of speech for a few days following your appointment. If you experience a sore spot on the gums, however, please call our office so that we can make an appropriate adjustment.

It is also normal for spacing to open between the teeth with some of these appliances.  Although usually it closes on its own, we will address any remaining space accordingly.