Orthodontic Appliances 101: Part One

While we’re all fairly familiar with regular metal braces, there are oftentimes other types of appliances (fancy gadgets) that are added to an orthodontic treatment plan to improve the process and outcome.



Carrier Distalizer

When teeth have erupted (come in) incorrectly, Doctors will of often use a Carriere Distalizer, which is an orthodontic device developed to correct a bite without removing permanent teeth. It can remedy patients with protrusive upper teeth or  underbites, prior to the placement of the braces. Applying this apparatus can significantly shorten treatment time.


Distal Jet

The Distal Jet is an appliance used on the upper teeth to fix a Class II bite (upper teeth forward of the lower teeth). The Distal Jet sits on the palate of the mouth and is banded to the molars. A spring attached to the acrylic body of the Distal Jet applies continuous force to the molars. This force is what moves the teeth to the back of the mouth. The treatment time for the Distal Jet is shorter than for other appliances that do the same job because it is a fixed appliance and maintains continual force against the teeth.



Perhaps the most commonly known appliance is the elastic. Sometimes rubber bands, elastics help move the upper and lower teeth relative to each other, ultimately achieving a better bite. These 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.


Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers can stay in place as long as needed. The consist of a metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth.

shows fixed retainer



A forusus is used to help remedy a Class II bite. It pushes the lower teeth forward and the upper teeth backward. Unlike elastics, this is not a removable appliance.


Head Gear

Perhaps the most not-looked-forward-to (yet super-effective) appliance is head gear. Typically this removable gadget is worn to restrict the growth of the upper jaw and improve overjet bite problems. It normally consists of a facebow that attaches to the teeth and a strap that fits to the back of the head or around the neck.


Stay Tuned to Learn About More Types
of Orthodontic Appliances!

Questions about this post orthodontic appliances? Give us a call at (704) 671-4051.