Types of Appliances

Just as no two smiles are the same, no two treatment plans are the same.

When Dr. Matsumoto creates your treatment plan, it’s 100% personalized to you. Based on your current condition and his assessment during your consultation, Dr. Matsumoto will advise you on the best treatment approach for your case and help you make an informed decision about you or your child’s smile. 

Your treatment plan may include any of the following appliances to maximize the efficiency of your braces, Brius or Invisalign® treatment.

Palatal Expander

In cases where the back teeth don’t fit together properly, due to jaw-size-discrepancy between upper and lower jaws, a palatal expander may be used. This appliance is commonly used in early treatment with young patients, because it’s most effective when the teeth and jaw bones are still developing.  

The palatal expander appliance widens the upper jaw through a cranking mechanism. This appliance has a screw that sits in the roof of the mouth with metal bands that exert gentle outward pressure on the upper molars to expand the jaw.

Palatal expanders can help prevent or correct teeth crowding and chewing functionality problems, as well as improve breathing and sleeping in some cases.


After your treatment with braces, Brius or Invisalign is complete, you’ll wear a retainer to maintain your beautiful new smile. Retainers can be removable and are essential for preventing the teeth from shifting back to their original, pre-treatment position.

Immediately after treatment, it’s best that you wear your retainer for 24 hours, through the day and night. Over time, you’ll be able to reduce your wear to nights only. Dr. Matsumoto will tell you everything you need to know about proper retainer wear when you’re nearing the end of your treatment!

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Elastics are tiny rubber band appliances used with braces, Brius or Invisalign® treatment. These are very common and are effective for aligning the teeth and/or jaw bones to treat malocclusions (underbites, overbites, crossbite and openbites). 

Dr. Matsumoto and his team will show you how to use rubber bands if they need to be a part of your treatment. It is very important that you wear them as indicated for the best results in the shortest amount of time!


The Forsus™ Fatigue Resistant Device treats “overbite” conditions by promoting a healthy alignment between the upper and lower teeth.

This appliance uses high-quality springs to apply persistent pressure on the upper and lower teeth and create resistance, shifting the upper teeth backward and the lower teeth forward. Once the appliance is in place, it shouldn’t require any maintenance until it’s removed. It’s important that you keep it as clean as possible.

Herbst® Appliance

Similar to the Forsus appliance, the Herbst® appliance is used to correct “overbites” by shifting the lower jaw forward and the upper jaw backward.

The Herbst appliance is generally used for younger patients with growing mouths and can be used with or without braces (although most often it is used with braces). Made of stainless steel bands, the Herbst appliance wraps around the molars, applying pressure to the jaw bones to promote proper development and create a healthy jaw alignment.

Have questions about types of appliances?

We’re here to answer your questions, and we want you to know your options! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

Dr. Matsumoto and our experienced team are here to guide you, so you can experience a positive treatment process while you achieve your perfect smile.

Ready to get started? Request your complimentary consultation at our convenient Porters Neck office in Wilmington, NC today!