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Types of Appliances

To successfully complete your orthodontic treatment plan, patients must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient complies with the prescribed orthodontic treatment plan.

The following paragraphs describe the types of appliances that may be used during your treatment.

Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed, because the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they are worn as prescribed.

Herbst® Appliance
This Herbst appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.

Positioners
Positioners complete the final tooth movements in your orthodontic treatment. With your full cooperation, you should only need to wear the positioner appliance for four to eight weeks.

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 or with toothpicks and floss.