Types of Appliances

elastics (rubber bands)

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Wearing elastics (or 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.




The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device is an alternative to headgear which promotes growth in adolescents, helping to eliminate excessive overbites, improve the fit of teeth, and possibly prevent the need for jaw surgery.



Schwarz Expanders

The Schwarz appliance is the most commonly used removable appliance designed for either upper or lower jaw expansion. The plastic applies gentle pressure to both the teeth and the supporting bone during expansion, to create additional width in the dental arches.  



MARA (mandibular anterior repositioning appliance)

The MARA is a simple and gentle bonded appliance that helps encourage forward growth of the lower jaw in patients who have deficiency. The appliance is typically worn for 9 to 12 months and offers Dr. Thornton a highly aesthetic option to traditional headgear. Another benefit to the MARA is that it can be used simultaniously with braces, so we can efficiently correct a severe bite problem, while also straightening the teeth. 



Distal Jet

The Distal Jet is a bonded custom appliance that creates space for crowded teeth by using light springs to move teeth backword in the mouth. At each appointment Dr. Thornton has the option to reactivate the appliance to move teeth into the best position possible. 


herbst appliance

Herbst® Appliance

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


palatal expander

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. Your orthodontist 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.




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, toothpicks, or floss.

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