Types of Braces    Invisalign    Appliances

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Rubber bands are used during treatment to make your bite properly fit together.  In most cases you will be asked to wear your rubber bands 24/7. Excellent compliance with rubber bands is crucial to ensure your treatment stays on schedule.  If you ever have any questions regarding how to hook up your rubber bands be sure to ask!  If you lose or run out of rubber bands be sure to call the office so we can get you another pack as soon as possible!  The picture to the right demonstrates a common way rubber bands are worn, to fix an overbite.


Space Maintainers

A space maintainer may be used if your child prematurely loses a baby tooth and we need to prevent the other teeth from shifting into the vacant space until the permanent tooth emerges.  This appliance is very easy for patients to wear.  The appliance will remain in place until the permanent tooth begins to erupt.



Headgear is a general name for a type of appliance that creates special forces for guiding the growth of your face and jaws. We also use headgear to move your teeth into better position or to prevent them from moving when they’re not supposed to.  Because each case is different, we will determine the amount of time you’ll need to wear your headgear.

To get the best results from your headgear, it is important to follow these simple guidelines:

  • Make sure to wear your headgear as directed.  It only works if you wear it!
  • Always be careful and remove your headgear as taught.  If you remove your headgear carelessly, the part that attaches in your mouth could injure your cheeks, lips, or even eyes.
  • Be sure to remove your headgear before running or playing sports.
  • Be careful to prevent anyone from grabbing or pulling at your headgear.
  • Take your headgear with you to every appointment.
  • Your teeth may be tender or feel slightly loose when you first begin wearing your headgear.  This is normal as they get use to this new part of treatment.  The tenderness will disappear as you adjust to your headgear.  If you continue to be uncomfortable for more than a few days, be sure to let us know.

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander widens the upper jaw by applying gentle pressure with each activation.  This enables the top and bottom teeth to fit together better.  It is very important to follow the instructions given to you by our doctors regarding your expander.  If you have any questions, please ask.  The video below helps demonstrate how you or your parents will turn your expander.


When your braces are removed, you will enter into the retention phase of treatment.  Retainers are important to hold your teeth in place until your bone, gums, and muscle adapt to the new tooth position.  It is important to follow the instructions given to you by Drs. Olson and Monson regarding how often to wear your retainers and how to clean and care for them.  If you don’t wear your retainers as instructed, your teeth may move toward their original position.

Handle your retainers with care.  They should be cleaned with a toothbrush and a small amount of tooth paste or even dish soap works great.  You can also soak them in dissolvable denture tablets when you are not wearing them.  Retainers are easy to lose.  When you remove your retainer, always place them in the case.  Do not wrap them in a napkin or tissue while you  eat.