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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.

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 rubber bands and possibly headgear. This appliance helps to eliminate excessive overbites and improve the fit of teeth



The traditional Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an overbite, with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw. Headgear gently "pulls" to restrict further forward growth of your upper jaw so that your lower jaw can catch-up in the growth with your child's natural jaw growth potential.

Another type of Headgear is the Reverse Pull Headgear. This type of Headgear is used in young children before their upper jaw growth potential is lost. As your child wears this appliance, the upper jaw can overcome the growth of the lower jaw and correct an underbite.

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 children and teens and is worn for about 12 months. The main advantage of this appliance is the "bonded" part, which takes the variability of cooperation and can use the entire growth potential to correct a jaw disharmony.

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 3-6 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. Dr. Van Westent 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 relapse of your treatment.