Types of Appliances

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. The animation below 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.

Adjusting your Palatal Expander (Printable PDF)

Herbst® Appliance

The Herbst® appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward and is used for patients with a moderate to severe Overbite. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months in conjuntion with a total full treatment that generally lasts 24-28 months. Sometimes there will be an expansion componenet to the upper part of the appliance (See Palate Expander) and sometimes we will do the Herbst by itself during the patient's growth spurt or add some Braces with it. Your treatment will be custom made for your mouth! 

elastics (rubber bands)

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) is very common for almost all cases in  Orthodontics.You will be given detailed instructions, if they are needed in your case, as far as when to start and how to wear them. Wearing rubber bands improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Always wear rubber bands as instructed, and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they're worn as prescribed.


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.




There are many styles of headgear that can be added to your orthodontic treatment, Headgear is only worn at night, or in the privacy of your home. Headgear is sometimes 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. Headgear gently "pulls" on your teeth to achieve the desired bite. Headgear is only effective when worn consistantly. 

Reverse Pull Headgear

Reverse Pull Headgear (RPHG)

Used on younger patient's that have an Underbite. The headgear is attached at night to a removable retainer or glued in appliance that is worn inside the mouth. (Dr. Cheek-Hill will have prescribed the best one for your case.) The headgear is comfortable and will gently gain protraction to the upper jaw.

Habit appliances

Habit appliances

Used to aid patient's is stopping a thumb sucking habit. They are glued in the mouth and typically worn 6-12 months to make sure the habit has stopped.

Nance appliances

Nance appliances

Appliances glued in the mouth on the Upper arch and are used in cases that need to have the first molars held in position. An example would be if a patient had to have a baby molar removed prematurely and we wanted to hold the first molar back to keep space open for other erupting teeth.

Transpalatal ArchesTranspalatal Arches (TPA)

Appliances glued in the mouth on the Upper arch and are used in cases where we need an "anchor" as we are moving other teeth. An example would be if a patient had to have a tooth surgically exposed and we need the TPA in place as we gently bring the tooth into the arch. 

Temporary Anchor DeviceTemporary Anchor Device (TADS)

Small "screws" that are placed by an Oral Surgeon and are used in conjunction with braces to close spaces in a specific area of the mouth. Typically they are used to close the full space of a missing tooth. 

Lower Lingual Holding Arch (LLHA)

An appliance that is used on the lower arch to hold first molars back. An example would be if a baby tooth had to have a baby molars removed prematuraly and we wanted to hold the first molar back to keep space open for erupting teeth. 

Bite Turbos (BT's) and Molar Pads (MP's)

Used in almost all braces cases where we need the bite to be "propped open". Some examples of when we would need to prop your bite open would be to prevent biting off lower braces, correcting crossbites, or just if you started with a deepbite. (Upper teeth biting over the lower teeth).  BT's are glued on the back surface of the Upper front teeth. MP's are glued on the biting surface of the lower molar teeth. Dr. Cheek-Hill will decide which is best for your case and sometimes we use both in the beginning of your treatment. They are easily removed once we have achieved the amount of bite opening that we need for your case. 



Forsus Springs are an alternative to headgear and extensive elastic wear in cases where there is a more severe Overbite. The Orthodontist  will determine who is a good candidate for these springs or they are sometimes added for patient's that are having difficulty in wearing elastics as instructed.  The springs are added to the braces and stay in full time. They are best used while a patient is in their active growth spurt. 

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