Types of Orthodontic Appliances

You may be asked to use many gadgets when getting Orthodontic treatment in Texas. These specific devices, in addition to the standard Orthodontic archwires and brackets, enable your teeth and jaw to shift into their ideal positions, giving you the greatest possible result. Orthodontic appliances come in many variations – some fixed and some removable. They serve various purposes, from active treatment to maintenance.

Orthodontic appliances include the following:

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) helps your upper and lower teeth fit better. Wear rubber bands as directed, and remember that rubber bands perform significantly more efficiently when worn as directed.


The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device is an alternative to headgear that supports growth in teenagers by reducing excessive overbites, improving tooth fit, and potentially avoiding jaw surgery.


Headgear treats people with an overbite (upper jaw front of the lower jaw) or an underbite (lower jaw forward of the upper jaw). Headgear softly “pulls” on your teeth, preventing your upper teeth and jaw from growing forward.

Herbst® Appliance

The Herbst appliance decreases overbite by guiding the lower jaw forward and the upper teeth backward. This fixed appliance is mainly used for younger, growing children and is worn for approximately 12-15 months.

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)

A rapid palatal expander (RPE) can treat crowding and crossbite. An RPE is a type of fixed Orthodontic appliance that an Orthodontist places. Metal bands are wrapped around specific teeth and attached to a screw that runs down the roof of your mouth. Turning the screw with a key on a daily or weekly basis extends the device, making your arch broader and allowing your teeth to align properly.

Each time an adjustment is performed, the palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by applying slight pressure to your upper molars. When and how to alter your expander will be determined by your orthodontist. After achieving the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to firm it and avoid regression.


Positioners are used to finish the final tooth motions in orthodontic therapy. If you cooperate completely, you should only wear the positioner appliance for four to eight weeks.


Retainers can be either detachable or fixed. They keep your teeth in their new, proper locations after straightening. Your orthodontist will teach you how to care for your retainer and how long you should wear it. Wearing your retainer as advised is critical to preventing treatment relapse.

Retainers come in various shapes and sizes and are worn after your orthodontic treatment. They aid in the maintenance of your new smile by preventing teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Retainers are wires that are permanently attached to the back of your teeth and bind them together like a bridge. They can also be clear, plastic, detachable equipment worn while sleeping.

Spacers or Separators

Separators are small rubber doughnuts placed between your teeth to help push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed at your next session. Before we place the bands, the separators will be removed. Separators and sticky foods, toothpicks, and floss do not combine well. You will initially feel pressure as if popcorn kernels are stuck between your teeth. After a few days, your teeth will move and relax. When wearing spacers, avoid flossing the area and eating sticky foods that may pull them out.

Distal Jet Appliance

A “Distal Jet” is a fixed Orthodontic appliance used to move upper molars back, making room for teeth that need to erupt or to correct overcrowding and bite difficulties. It is commonly used in conjunction with elastic bands.

Bite Plate

A bite plate is often used at the start of orthodontic treatment to assist in opening a deep bite. The appliance is made of an acrylic biting plate positioned in the roof of your mouth. It has metal clasps that clip onto the inside of the top teeth. The device keeps your back teeth from rubbing together, allowing your molars to erupt normally.

Twin Block Appliance

The twin block appliance differs from other functional appliances in that it combines two independent appliances (one for the upper arch and one for the lower arch) to achieve an advanced lower jaw position. This patient-friendly equipment is always worn, including when eating, but it is easily removed for cleaning. It’s also more comfortable than other jaw-correcting devices because it’s constructed of smooth acrylic and has fewer wires.

A twin-block appliance results in a wide, beautiful grin, optimal jaw function, an enhanced profile, and a stable and healthy temporomandibular joint.

Carriere Distalizer Appliance

When the upper jaw and teeth substantially overlap the lower jaw and teeth, a Carriere Distalizer may be used to rectify the problem before installing braces or Invisalign. It can even cut the time you spend wearing braces or Invisalign by several months.

A metal or transparent bar is affixed to the top teeth on one or both sides of your mouth. An elastic band connects the bar to a hook on the cheek side of the lower back molars. This pressure pulls the top teeth back and the bottom teeth forward, guiding them into the proper place.

MARA Appliance

MARA is an abbreviation for Mandibular Anterior Repositioning Appliance. It is a non-removable appliance that promotes lower jaw growth to treat severe overbites and reduce the need for extractions or orthognathic surgery.

Crowns, modified crowns, or bands are used to secure the MARA appliance to the molars. Lower attachments are attached to the molars. Upper attachments are removable, allowing your orthodontist to make changes based on your treatment plan.