(703) 542-6336       25401 Eastern Market Place Plaza, Suite 100, Chantilly, VA 20152

Orthodontic Appliances

What is an Orthodontic Appliance?

An orthodontic appliance is a wearable device that can be easily removed by the patient and which is designed to apply forces to the teeth and jaw in order to facilitate healthy alignment. These devices are used when braces alone won’t provide the degree of correction needed for a healthy bite.

Below we’ll cover a few different types of orthodontic appliances and why each is used.

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Orthodontic Headgear

Orthodontic Headgear is sometimes known as extra-oral appliances because these devices are worn outside of the mouth and function by anchoring to bony landmarks on the neck and head and can be removed by the patient for periodic cleaning and while playing sports, rough housing or eating.

These devices apply force to the patient’s teeth and jaws to create an optimal shape for healthy growth. They also prevent teeth from shifting during treatment. Headgear is usually recommended when braces alone cannot deliver the support needed for healthy development.

Orthodontic headgear is most often worn by children and teens because their jaws are still developing and more easily manipulated. However, headgear can also be helpful for adult treatments in which a tooth has been removed and other teeth may shift out of a place without additional support.

3 Types of Orthodontic Headgear

Cervical Headgear

Cervical headgear anchors at the back of the neck and is meant to correct an overbite.

High-pull Headgear

High-pull anchors at the back of the head to correct an overbite. This treatment is often used when a child has an open bite, which means the upper and lower teeth do not touch when the mouth is closed.

Reverse-pull Facemask

Reverse- pull anchors on the forehead and chin in order to move the upper jaw forward and correct an underbite

At Omar Orthodontics, Dr. Anisa Omar and her staff collaborate with their patients to determine the best ortho appliances for their specific treatment plans.


Elastics are small rubber bands that anchor to a patients braces and pull the lower jaw forward or backward to correct an overbite or underbite.

Palatal Expanders

Palatal expanders are typically used when a patients upper jaw too narrow resulting in crowded upper teeth or teeth which don’t properly contact the teeth below. Exapnders widen a patients upper jaw by applying pressure to the upper molars in incremental stages. Once a palate has been expanded to a healthy width, the patient may continue to wear the device for a few months more to ensure that the expansion is permanent.
Learn more about palatal expanders.

Visit our Chantilly, VA office to learn more about orthodontic appliances, or reach out to us by phone at 703-542-6336 to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Anisa Omar.