Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Here are a few of the most common orthodontic appliances that Dr. Sievers and Dr. Van Vooren will use to make adjustments for their Cambridge, Lindstrom, and Pine City patients.


This is a metal wire which is attached to your brackets to move your teeth.


Bands are a ring of metal, which fit around the molars and sometimes premolars. The bands are selected from a range of sizes in order to find the tightest fitting band.

The bands are sealed in position using dental cement that contains fluoride to prevent any decalcification during treatment.


Brackets are the small metal or ceramic modules attached to each tooth. They serve as guides to move the teeth and hold the archwire in place.


A stretchable plastic chain used to hold archwires into brackets and to move teeth.


Elastics or rubber bands for braces help move the upper and lower teeth relative to each other, ultimately achieving a better bite.

The orthodontic rubber bands are typically effective for correcting overbites, underbites, or other types of alignments of the jaw. They are also useful for moving a tooth out of alignment or to close a space in the mouth.


The Fixed Palatal Expander is constructed with a palatal expansion screw whose metal arms are soldered to wire framework. The framework encircles all of the posterior teeth.

Expanders are an excellent way to widen a narrow upper jaw.

Fixed Retainer

Fixed retainers consist of a metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth. Fixed retainers can stay in place indefinitely.


A Forsus appliance is used in order to help move the upper molars back while moving the lower jaw forward, thereby correcting a Class II malocclusion also referred to as an overbite. Composed of a spring coil rod, the appliance is attached to the braces which decreases the need for patient cooperation.

You may notice some discomfort initially, so we recommend a soft food diet for the first few days after the appliance is placed. Regular anti-inflammatory medication may help with any pain, if needed.

It is important to keep the appliance clean; you may do this by carefully brushing the coil and other metal pieces of the appliance with your toothbrush.

Also, we recommend that patients not open their mouths extremely wide, as the appliance may come apart. If the Forsus appliance becomes disengaged from the tube on the upper molar, the patient can usually reinsert it on their own.


A removable appliance worn to restrict growth of the upper jaw and improve overjet problems. It normally consists of a facebow that attaches to the teeth and a strap that fits around the neck or head.


Invisalign® is a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that orthodontists use as an alternative to traditional metal braces.

Lingual Arch

A lingual arch is an orthodontic device which connects two molars in the upper or lower dental arch.

Mouth Guard

A device that is used to protect your mouth from injury when you are participating in sports. The use of a mouth guard is especially important for orthodontic patients, to prevent injuries.


The Nance button is utilized to hold teeth in position to allow for the movement of other teeth. The impact of the button on the lower palate creates force on the back molars.

Palatial Expander

A palatal expander, also known as a rapid palatal expander, rapid maxillary expansion appliance, palate expander or orthodontic expander, is used to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit together better.

Removable Retainer

A gadget that the orthodontist gives you to wear after your braces are removed. The retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth and holds them in the correct position while your jaw hardens and your teeth get strongly attached to your jaw.

At first, you wear the retainer 24 hours a day, and then only at night.


Separators are tiny rubber bands or springs that your orthodontist places between your back teeth.

These separators prepare your mouth for braces by creating a small gap between these teeth. This space allows for the placement of a metal band around your molar, which anchors your braces in your mouth.

Thumb Crib

This simple device is given to address severe thumb/finger sucking habit. It involves using a fixed wire crib attached to two back braces.

Transpalatal Bar

The Transpalatal Bar (TPA) is a fixed appliance that is attached to bands on the upper molar teeth. The bar that sits across the roof of the palate fits into a soldered clip located on the bands.