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Orthodontic Appliances

elastics (rubber bands)

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit between your upper and lower teeth. Wear rubber bands as instructed, and change them twice a day.

Failure to wear elastics will lead to an unsuccessful end result.



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.

herbst appliance

Herbst® Appliance

The Herbst® appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward.

The airway volume increases as the lower jaw comes forward, therefore preventing and/or improving symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring.

This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children 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. The expander moves bone and not teeth to:

  • increase the width of the upper arch
  • increase the width of the nasal floor
  • increase airway volume (prevent sleep apnea and snoring)
  • make room for crowded teeth

Dr. Gellerman 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. Dr. Gellerman 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.

Separators will feel like a piece of food got “stuck” between your teeth, therefore making the area slightly tender and sore. Brush as you normaly do, but avoid sticky foods, toothpicks, and floss.

The separators will be removed before we place the bands.

face mask

Face Mask

The “Face Mask” is used in very young patients to correct skeletal Class III (underbite) malocclusions. These types of problems are characterized by upper teeth that fit behind lower teeth in the front as well as back teeth. The cause of this bite is a maxilla (upper jaw) that is not growing fast enough to keep up with the mandible (lower jaw).


Answer a few quick questions and see whether you are a candidate.

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