Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they’re worn as prescribed.
Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an overbite, with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw, or an “underbite” with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw.
The Herbst® appliance reduces overbite by modifying jaw growth. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 10-12 months.
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.
The Forsus Appliance reduces overbite by moving the lower teeth forward and the upper teeth back. This appliance is used mostly for growing children, teens, and young adults and is worn about 8-10 months.
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 relapse 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.