orthodontic appliances

The Most Common Orthodontic Appliances

The positive benefits of smiling are numerous. A study published in Science Daily reported that even the act of smiling can generate positive emotions. A beautiful smile can boost self-esteem and confidence. Another study on dental aesthetics found that a great smile can improve academic performance, enhance job prospects and project an image of professionalism and confidence. Improving your smile can be as simple as using one of the many orthodontic appliances that can help correct oral health problems. The most common orthodontic appliances include both fixed and removable appliances, which both can improve you or your child’s smile.


Most orthodontic appliances are fixed, but some types are removable. The most common removable appliance is a retainer. Many clients require the use of a retainer after their braces are removed to maintain the shifts made during orthodontic treatment. Using a retainer after wearing braces is an essential component of after-care to sustain results.


Separators are tiny elastic rings that your orthodontist will fit between your back teeth to create space for your expander.

Orthodontic appliances for correcting jaw issues

Jaw issues can not only affect your smile, but can also cause pain and TMJ. Jaw-correcting appliances can fix these issues through either fixed or removable orthodontic appliances. Both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic appliances that correct issues with jaw alignment or development. There a few different types of jaw-correcting orthodontic appliances:

Headgear: One example of a removable orthodontic appliance that corrects jaw issues is headgear. Headgear is made from stainless steel and includes both a facebow and fabric safety strap. Your orthodontist will attach metal bands to the upper back teeth. There is a safety strap that wraps around your head and secures the facebow. Headgear affects jaw growth and tooth movement by applying pressure to the upper teeth and the bone that forms your upper jaw.

Bionator: A bionator is a removable appliance that guides the lower jaw so that it grows in proportion to the upper jaw. 

Mara: A mara is a commonly used orthodontic appliance that will push the lower jaw bone, or mandible, forward to reduce your overbite. Crowns are placed on the top and bottom molars, and a metal elbow connects the crowns.

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander is another commonly used orthodontic appliance that can correct jaw issues. It works by attaching to a few upper teeth on each side of the jaw. Expanders are used to create space when a patient’s jaw is too narrow. A palatal expander can be either removable or fixed. Some expanders include a key that is turned periodically to increase the width of the jaw.

With any of these orthodontic appliances, it’s extremely important to follow the instructions for care. At Milnor Orthodontics, we provide our clients with detailed care instructions and encourage regular check-ups to monitor progress. We even offer Dental Monitoring to reduce the number of trips to the office and allow patients to ask questions about their treatment without scheduling an appointment. Schedule your free consultation to get started with your orthodontic treatment plan.

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 484-3214 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.