Growth-Modifying Appliances

Growth modification is necessary when the patient has unbalanced growth between the upper and lower jaws. This type of treatment can only be done for patients who are still growing. Below are some of the growth modification appliances frequently used in our office:

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.

Forsus™

The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device is an alternative to headgear and elastics. This appliance is fixed to the wires that are held in by your braces and requires little patient compliance. It is surprisingly comfortable and, in general, patients find it easy to adapt to. The Forsus appliance helps redirect lower jaw growth in adolescents, helping to eliminate excessive space between upper and lower teeth and improve the fit of the upper and lower teeth together. 

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 several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.

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.

Herbst Appliance

The Herbst appliance is another alternative to headgear that is used to correct the bite. This appliance is cemented onto the teeth and does not require you to place or remove it from your mouth. When initially placed, the Herbst appliance positions your lower jaw forward into an ideal bite position. In a growing patient, this appliance helps direct jaw growth with the goal of improving both the facial profile and the bite between the upper and lower teeth.

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.

Forsus™

The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device is an alternative to headgear and elastics. This appliance is fixed to the wires that are held in by your braces and requires little patient compliance. It is surprisingly comfortable and, in general, patients find it easy to adapt to. The Forsus appliance helps redirect lower jaw growth in adolescents, helping to eliminate excessive space between upper and lower teeth and improve the fit of the upper and lower teeth together. 

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 several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.

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.

Herbst Appliance

The Herbst appliance is another alternative to headgear that is used to correct the bite. This appliance is cemented onto the teeth and does not require you to place or remove it from your mouth. When initially placed, the Herbst appliance positions your lower jaw forward into an ideal bite position. In a growing patient, this appliance helps direct jaw growth with the goal of improving both the facial profile and the bite between the upper and lower teeth.