types of appliances

Creating confident smiles
through advanced
orthodontic care

Types of Appliances

To successfully complete the orthodontic treatment plan, patients must work together with the Eisen Orthodontics team. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the elastics (rubber bands), headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Patients must also maintain visits with their general dentist minimally every 6 months, or as required to aid with proper oral hygiene.

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

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

elastics (rubber bands)

Wearing elastics (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. Rubber bands worn less than the prescribed time may be inefficient or may not accomplish the desired changes.



Headgear is one option to treat patients whose teeth are in an "overbite," with the uppers forward of the lowers, or an "underbite," with the lowers forward of the uppers. Headgear treatment can accomplish orthopedic correction of the jaws and help normalize tooth and jaw position.

Herbst® Appliance

herbst appliance

The Herbst appliance reduces overbite largely by encouraging the lower jaw forward, leading to an improvement in the patient's chin position. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.

Palatal Expander

palatal expander

The palatal expander "expands" (widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. Eisen will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired state, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent rebound or relapse to the original problem.



Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Dr. Eisen will provide instructions about how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to the long-term success of your treatment. Retainers will also help prevent unfavorable tooth alignment associated with aging and other normal maturation changes.

Separators or Spacers

separators of 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 may become easily dislodged by sticky foods, toothpicks or floss, so exercise caution when eating with them.