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.




Headgear is 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 restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.


MARA Bite Corrector

The M.A.R.A. (Mandibular Anterior Repositioning Appliance) is a bite corrector used to address severe bite problems and jaw imbalances in growing children.  This appliance works by moving the upper teeth backward and the lower jaw and lower teeth forward.  A major advantage of the appliance is that it is attached to the teeth and remains inside the mouth so it is not visible, unlike traditional headgear that self-consciousnscious to wear.

Before the M.A.R.A. appliance is placed, braces are used to initially align the teeth and begin the bite correction process.  The M.A.R.A. is then used along with braces until the bite problem is corrected, typically 12 months.  Once the M.A.R.A. is no longer needed, it is removed and the braces remain on the teeth to finish the details of treatment and ensure the correction is stable, another 6 months.  Many of our patients have total treatment times of close to 24 months when using the M.A.R.A. 


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.




Positioners complete the final tooth movements in your orthodontic treatment. With your full cooperation, you should only need to wear the positioner appliance for four to eight weeks.




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.

American Association of Orthodontics American Dental Association Invisalign Smiles Change Lives Fox River Valley dental Society