Types of Appliances

In Orthodontics, there are many useful appliances to help us achieve both the functional and aesthetic desired result.  Below are just some of the appliances used in our office.  The goal is to help you better understand what you or your child may be embarking on in your orthodontic treatment.  If you have a question about your appliance, the purpose it serves or how to properly care for it, please ask.  We want your experience at Montoure/Hanson/Teske Orthodontics to be a positive one!



Separators or Spacers

Separators (spacers) are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth about a week before you get your braces.  Spacers help to gently push your back teeth apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed at the next appointment.  The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss.  If one of your spacers falls out, please call the office.  It may be necessary to have that spacer replaced.



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 (typically 24 hours a day except for eating, brushing, and flossing) and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they are worn as prescribed. 





colored elasticsElastic Ties

Elastic ties are placed around each bracket to help engage the wire.  You can have fun picking the color of the ties you'd like!  Visit our Brace Painter to try out different combinations.  You can pick your school colors or show your Packer fan spirit by choosing green and gold.  This is a way to make having braces fun!



We use several different types of retainers in our office. Retainers may be removable or fixed; they may have a wire or they may be clear.  They will be specific to each patient and Dr. Montoure, Dr. Hanson or Dr. Teske will prescribe the retainer that is best for your specific need. Your retainer will hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened by braces. Dr. Montoure, Dr. Hanson or Dr. Teske 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. Refer back to your instruction sheet for more helpful reminders on the care and use of your retainer! 

 Hawley retainer   (Hawley retainer- wire)      clear retainer  (Clear retainer- plastic)


Some patients treated in our office have problems with their bite (upper jaw too far forward of the lower jaw- or vice versa)  In this case, they may get an appliance before they get their braces, or to wear along with their braces to correct the alignment of their jaw.  Some of these appliances can be removed.  Others are fixed in place.  Remember to brush your appliance each time you brush your teeth.  Here are some of those functional appliances:



Headgear is used to help patients correct their bite. Headgear gently pulls on your teeth to restrict further forward growth so they can correctly align with the lower jaw and teeth. There are 3 common types of headgear: neck strap (cervical), high-pull, and reverse-pull (face mask).  Refer to your instruction sheet for helpful tips on using your headgear for the most successful outcome of your treatment! Also, don't forget to bring your headgear and calendar to all of your appointments.

neck strap headgear (Cervical)          high-pull headgear  (High-Pull)          reverse-pull headgear  (Reverse-Pull)



palatal expander

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander widens your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Dr. Montoure, Dr. Hanson or Dr. Teske will instruct you when and how to adjust your expander. When the desired expansion is achieved, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.  Click here to read more about the Palatal Expander and to watch a demonstration of the appliance being adjusted.



  bionator appliance  Bionator


Bionators are used to expand the palate and create space for incoming teeth.  The Bionator fits on the upper jaw, helping move the lower jaw forward.  This appliance is held in the mouth within the space that the teeth surround when biting and is not fastened to the teeth.



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