Types of Orthodontic Appliances



Even braces need a little help from their friends sometimes, which is why in certain cases you may require additional appliances to move your teeth and jaws toward their correct positions. However, every mouth is different so what’s prescribed for one patient may not be necessary for another.

For successful treatment, you should wear your elastics and other gear exactly as instructed by Dr. Kwong. These are the appliances we sometimes use to achieve a perfect smile:


Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Elastics aren’t just there to make your smile colorful; they have an important purpose. They improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth. They move teeth just like your wires move teeth, so you’ll want to wear them just as Dr. Kwong prescribes in order for them to be really efficient. If you wear them well enough, you might even be able to get your braces off sooner.


Palatal Expander

The palatal expander “expands,” or widens, your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on the upper jaw through your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. Kwong will give you the details about how and when to adjust your expander. Once you achieve the desired result, you’ll wear the appliance for a few more months to solidify the expansion and prevent collapse of the upper jaw.


Separators (or Spacers)

Separators, or spacers, are little rubber doughnuts (unfortunately, not as tasty as the edible kind) that are sometimes put between the teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands can be placed at your next appointment. We’ll take the separators out before we place the bands. Separators don’t mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks or dental floss.


Bite Springs (Forsus Springs)

Bite springs are an automatic way to work on your bite. No fuss of remembering to wear them. After starting with braces for a few months, they are attached directly from your top to bottom braces (similar to elastics). They are very durable, but not indestructible. Since they stay on all the time, bite springs usually correct overbites faster. They tend to be more hidden when you smile so they are a stealthy way to work on overbites.

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