Commonly Used Orthodontics Items - Thomas Orthodontics

Commonly Used Orthodontics Items

Diagram of Orthodontics Items: How to Keep Them Straight


Separators or Spacers

separatorsSeparators 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)

rubber-bandsWearing 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.


Palatal Expander

palatal-expanderThe 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.



activatorAn excellent interceptive orthodontic device. They equire expert wire-bending skills to manufacture and are usually indicated during early treatment. This appliance is an example of a removable device that sets on the roof of your mouth. Mostly for younger patients that are experiencing skeletal problems. A simple yet effective appliance.


retainersRetainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist 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.