Do I Need an Orthodontic Appliance?

When you think of orthodontics, traditional metal braces probably come to mind first. But there are a variety of other appliances that we use for orthodontic treatment. Could an orthodontic appliance be the solution to your orthodontic problem? Dr. Wayne Sankey, an orthodontist in Flower Mound, TX, explains the variety of appliances we offer and what their uses are.orthodontist in flower mound, texas

Palate Expander

A palate expander is used to widen your upper jaw. This can be needed for many reasons. First, if you have a bite problem and your upper and lower teeth aren’t lining up properly, a palate expander can help to fix that. Palate expanders are also commonly used to help with problems that are caused by overcrowding or impacted teeth.

Each palate expander is customized to fit the patient’s mouth. It’s adjusted multiple times, slowly putting pressure on your upper molars and widening the palate. Once the desired width has been achieved, you’ll still wear the device for a couple of months. We want to make sure the expansion is stable and no regression happens.

Herbst Appliance

This appliance is another that helps to make sure your jaws properly line up. It’s typically used on younger patients for the appearance of an overbite. They’re fixed in the mouth until the treatment is complete. Over the course of time, it gradually moves your lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward.


Retainers are one of the more common orthodontic appliances. They’re usually used after you have traditional braces or Invisalign, making sure the teeth don’t shift when your treatment is over. Retainers can either be removable or fixed into place and we offer multiple types of them in our office. We’ll help determine the length of time you should expect to wear a retainer, as it can vary.


Before you get braces, spacers are often used to ensure there’s enough room between teeth so that the braces can be applied and work properly. This is especially true if you have teeth that are extremely close together. The spacers themselves are small rubber bands that are wedged between the teeth. It’s typical for the areas to be sore for a few days when spacers are placed.


Orthodontic elastics are often called rubber bands and are usually attached to braces to help shift your teeth. Different patterns can be used with the elastics depending on how your bite needs to be moved and shifted. Elastics also have different sizes and thicknesses, which varies the pressure they exert.

Orthodontic Appliances at Your Flower Mound, Texas Orthodontist

Orthodontic appliances can be a useful solution in helping you to get the smile of your dreams. Call us or schedule an appointment online.