Spacers (a.k.a. separators) are small, round rubber bands that are placed between teeth to allow for orthodontic bands to be placed at the next visit. They are normally in for 3-10 days and removed just prior to the seating of the orthodontic bands. It is best to avoid super chewy, sticky foods when spacers are in place.
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (a.k.a. rubber bands) improves your bite by changing how the top and bottom teeth fit together. They can be colored, as pictured, or clear. Just know that wearing your elastics as prescribed will make your treatment go quicker and result in a much better smile!
Carriere Distalizing Appliance (CDA)
CDAs allow for patients to wear elastics even before braces are put on. When indicated, they can be a more patient-friendly alternative to other bite correctors such as springs, headgear or permanent tooth extractions. Since the bite is corrected in the beginning, it means you spend less time in braces too!
Similar to elastics (rubber bands), Forsus springs are used to correct bites by aligning the top and bottom teeth to each other. Forsus is a fixed appliance that attaches directly to the braces. They are efficient, great for larger discrepancies and don't require patients to take them on and off.
A palatal expander is used when a person's upper jaw is narrow and/or more room is needed to allow the permanent teeth to fit. It works by unwinding the expander, usually once a night, which applies gentle pressure to allow for widening. Once the jaw is at the proper width, the expander remains for several more months to maintain the expansion and prevent relapse.
Retainers are one of the most important part of any orthodontic treatment. After teeth are aligned, there is a tendency for them to go back towards their original position. Retainers hold your teeth in the new, proper position. There are many types of retainers including fixed (glued to your teeth) or removable, which come in several types such as clear or traditional ones with wires. They are generally worn full time for a few months after treatment and then at night for as long as you want straight teeth (lifetime!).