Orthodontic Appliances

Headgear  |  Facemask  |  Quad Helix  |  Hyrax Expander  |  Herbst  |  Focus Bite Spring  |  Penguin Appliance  |  Elastics


Headgear is often used to correct an excessive overbite. This is done by placing pressure against the upper teeth and jaw, which would hold the teeth in position or help move them into better positions. The severity of the problem determines the length of time headgear needs to be worn. The key to success with your headgear appliance is consistency. Headgear must be worn a certain number of hours per day, and if not, it must be made up the following day.

Headgear should never be worn while playing sports and should also be removed while eating or brushing your teeth.

Back to the top


Often referred to as reverse-pull headgear, the protraction face mask is a removable appliance for patients where the upper jaw is not growing fast enough, resulting in a crossbite or underbite. The device consists of a metal bar attached to pads on the forehead and chin with rubber bands hooked to the face mask and the upper braces to gradually move the upper jaw forward. Patient compliance is extremely important as the face mask must be worn a set number of hours per day or more to obtain the desired results. The face mask device is generally worn for 6-12 months.

Back to the top

Quad Helix

The Quad Helix is a fixed orthodontic appliance used for upper arch expansion. Bands are cemented to your back molars to keep the appliance in place while four helix springs help widen the arch. This appliance is ideal for patients with crowding in the upper arch or to correct a posterior crossbite.

It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen while wearing the Quad Helix. Patients should around and under the appliance and also floss and rinse thoroughly to remove any food particles.

Back to the top

Hyrax Expander

An expander works by making enlarging the dental arch. It helps to straighten crowded teeth, as well as create room for the rest of the permanent teeth to erupt without becoming overcrowded. It can also work by correcting the bite.

The Hyrax expander consists of two rings (bands) or chrome crowns covering the back molar teeth on each side of the mouth. Welded to these bands or crowns are strong wires that are attached to a rectangular shaped expansion screw. For the upper expander, the screw is located in the palate. The upper expansion screw is usually activated one turn each day for two weeks, preferably the same time of day each day.

Back to the top


One of the most common problems orthodontics treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. Ordinarily, when we see a patient with the upper teeth protruding, we tend to think that the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward; but, more often than not, this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is further back than it should be. With these patients, we would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and braces like the Herbst® appliance help this happen.
Even though the Herbst® appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movement still occur easily, and patients do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.

As with all kinds of braces, patients with Herbst® appliances need to be careful about what they eat. For instance, cold foods such as ice slushes, Popsicles and ice will freeze the cement and make the brace loosen. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and candy suckers will pull the brace away from the teeth. Hard foods like crisp vegetables and hard candies will bend and loosen the Herbst® appliance, too. So stay away from these foods during your orthodontic treatment.

Your Herbst® appliance will be checked and adjusted at your appointments. If, sometimes between appointments, you develop some sore areas on the inside of your cheeks, please do not try to adjust the appliance yourself. Call for an appointment so that the necessary adjustments can be made.

Back to the top

Focus Bite Spring

The Bite Spring is used in order to help move the upper molars back while moving the lower arch forward. Composed of a spring coil rod, the appliance is used while a patient is currently wearing braces. It runs from the upper first molar band down to the lower archwire.

You may notice some discomfort initially, so we recommend a soft food diet for the first few days after the appliance is placed. Regular anti-inflammatory medication may help with any pain, if needed. It is important to keep the appliance clean; you may do this by carefully brushing the coil and other metal pieces of the appliance. Also, we recommend that patients not open their mouths very wide, as the appliance may come apart.

If your appliance breaks, please contact our office immediately to schedule a repair appointment.

Back to the top

Penguin Appliance

The Penguin Pendulum Appliance is used to move the upper molars back when there are dental discrepancies. The fixed appliance also eliminates the need for patient compliance. Used to correct Class II malocclusions, the Penguin appliance yields results similar to that achieved by headgear but with enhanced patient comfort and improved treatment outcomes. The process generally takes around six months to complete.

Back to the top


Elastics or rubber bands are a vital part of treatment and are also contingent upon patient compliance. They add extra pressure to the braces to help move the teeth. Generally worn at all times (excluding eating and brushing your teeth), rubber bands should be changed at least once a day. They come in various sizes as they are each used for a specific purpose. Dr. Rosenthall will provide you with the appropriate size.

You should always carry extra rubber bands with you in the event one breaks. If you run out, please call us immediately and we will supply you with more.

It is important to wear them consistently or treatment setbacks may occur. If only one day is missed, it could cause your teeth to shift back to their original position!

Back to the top