Orthodontic Appliances

We offer a variety of removable and non-removable orthodontic appliances depending on your specific condition and orthodontic goals. Our team will work with you to create a bright and healthy smile, so you can live the confident life you deserve! Dr. Cardall may suggest any of the following appliances to provide you with the most effective and efficient treatment option possible.

Removable Appliances

Our removable appliances include the following:

Clear retainers or traditional (Hawley) retainers

A retainer is typically used following orthodontic treatment to maintain the new positions of the teeth. After your treatment with braces or Invisalign® aligners, you will be prescribed a retainer to wear every night for a year. Eventually, you may only wear your retainer a few nights a week. Retainers ensure that your teeth don’t shift back into the formation they held prior to your treatment. The traditional Hawley retainer has an acrylic center that rests on the roof of your mouth with metal wires that hold your teeth in place. The clear retainer is made of plastic and nearly invisible in appearance. The clear retainer also functions as a nightguard which can help prevent damage caused by grinding teeth during sleep. Wearing your retainer is imperative if you want your amazing results to remain amazing! (Learn more about retainers here)


Mouthguards are custom-fit, flexible appliances that form to the unique curvature of your teeth. They can also be formed around the braces and adjust to your changing mouth over time. Mouthguards are recommended to be used during sports or physical activities to prevent damage to the mouth or teeth.

Clear Aligners (such as Invisalign)

Clear aligners are used to straighten teeth and correct the bite, and are an alternative to traditional braces. To learn more, click here

Separators (Spacers)

Separators are worn temporarily, usually about a week or two, before braces are put into place. These appliances look like small rubber bands lodged between the molar teeth. Separators create a tiny amount of space between the teeth to allow for the placement of molar bands. Bands are typically used to help secure a non-removable appliance in place, such as a palatal expander. (For a list of non-removable appliances that Dr. Cardall may prescribe, see below).


Headgear appliances may be used by Dr. Cardall as a treatment method to correct severe bite issues. in young children (usually ages 7-9). When a skeletal discrepancy (where one jaw is significantly smaller than the other jaw) is present, Dr. Cardall may suggest a headgear appliance as an efficient treatment to improve the relationship of the jaws and facial balance. Your headgear appliance will be adjusted to the severity of your condition and the direction of force required to realign the jaw properly. When prescribed by Dr. Cardall, headgears are worn only at night-time and for a limited number of months.

Elastic or Rubber Bands

The elastic band appliances are worn with braces and attached to small hooks on the top and bottom braces. These will be prescribed to correct bite issues, depending on your condition and whether you have an overbite, underbite, cross bite or open bite. You will receive a pack of small rubber bands, colored or clear, and will be prescribed to wear them as necessary. While these bands are worn, you will feel light pressure in your upper and lower jaw, pulling them into the correct positions.

Non-removable (Fixated) Appliances

Our non-removable appliances are those that are glued in place and removed only by the orthodontist after the appliance has produced its desired effect. These appliances generally remain in the mouth for less than half of the total treatment time with braces.

Forsus™ Springs

The Forsus™ appliance is generally used in adolescent mouths in accordance with braces, although it may also be used with adults. This appliance consists of one or two springs on either side of the jaw and is used to move the teeth to correct overjet and overbite conditions. The metal springs shift the lower teeth forward, while shifting the upper teeth backwards. This appliance may be worn from 3 to 6 months, depending on your condition and its severity.

Herbst Appliance

The Herbst appliance is a growth modification appliance, consisting of two metal bands attached to the upper and lower molars. This appliance, commonly an alternative to headgear, is used to correct jaw misalignments and problematic overbite conditions. The metal bands work to shift the lower jaw forward and the upper jaw backward.

Rapid Palatal Expanders

The palatal expander is used to correct misalignments, crowding or similar conditions related to the width of the upper jaw. Misalignments may be caused by a number of factors. In many cases, the upper jaw is not wide enough to fit properly with the bottom jaw. A palatal expander will fit in the back of the mouth, attached to the upper molar teeth. This appliance may be prescribed for any period of time, but is typically in place for 6-9 months, depending on your condition and its severity. You will receive a small key, used to activate a screw in the expander appliance, which gradually expands the appliance little-by-little each day.

Lower Schwartz Expander

The Lower Schwartz appliance works to expand the lower arch to allow more space for the teeth to align. The expander includes a spring behind the lower front teeth that gradually expands and widens the arch, reducing the stress on crowded front teeth and gums which often recede as a result of this crowding. This appliance is bonded to the lower molars and typically remains in the mouth for 6-12 months, depending on the severity of the crowding and time needed for expansion.

Lower Fixed Retainer (or ‘Permanent’ Retainer)

A fixed retainer is placed at the completion of treatment, usually behind the lower six front teeth, to maintain their alignment without the need for daily wear of a removable retainer. Because many people do not wear their removable retainers as prescribed, Dr. Cardall often recommends these ‘permanent’ retainers. These retainers do break occasionally and are not truly permanent, but they can always be replaced when they do break. In certain situations, a fixed retainer may also be placed behind the upper front teeth to maintain their alignment.

When you schedule your free exam with Dr. Cardall, he will suggest the best treatment option available for you to achieve your ideal smile.

Depending on your condition, its severity and your unique goals, a removable or non-removable appliance may be the most efficient plan of action.

If you have any questions about different types of appliances, or which appliance might be best for you, don’t hesitate to contact us today! We’re here to answer all of your questions.

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