Braces Appliances: Every Gadget Explained

As you start the process, you might be required to wear or use some special tools and equipment to ensure constant progress. These tools and devices basically work to move your jaw, shift teeth, close gaps, and improve your overall oral health. The underlying mechanism of these appliances is to shift and reframe the movement of your muscles or bone structure in order to produce the desired effects. Only your orthodontist will be able to determine which specific equipment you require and when you will require them. This article will discuss the various appliances you might come across at one point or another during your treatment.

Removable Types

  • Andresen Device: If you have an overbite, you might be prescribed this to fix the bite by causing your molars to over-erupt, thus forwarding your lower jaw.
  • There is a derivative of those that is known as an opening activator, and it works to achieve the same end result.
  • The Bionator: This looks very similar to a retainer but has a completely different purpose. Its main purpose is expanding your palate which will create enough space to let your incoming teeth settle in without any resistance.
  • Clark Twin Block: These work to move your lower jaw forward through the use of 2 bite blocks. The main purpose is to correct your skeletal structure.
  • Bass Dynamax: The goal of this piece of equipment is to also forward and fix the posture of your lower jaw. The mechanism uses a spring, split and arch to do so.


You’ve all seen this device at one point or another, and I’m sure you’re worried that you might have to get this. Don’t worry, as headgears are only used for the most severe of types of cases and situations. They are often attached to your braces with the aim of fixing extremely unhealthy bites.

If you’re wondering how these work it’s very simple. They stagnate the growth and development of your upper jaw, which basically allows the lower to jaw to “catch up” to it in terms of growth and development. Over time, your jaws will be at the same development level.

Another reason that an orthodontist might prescribe this equipment is because it can help create space for teeth that haven’t cut through yet. This is done by connecting it to your molars, which will push them backwards over time, which leaves gaps for any incoming teeth.

If interested in reading more about this particular device, we have an in-depth article dedicated to it


This works to control how quickly your upper or lower jawbones grow and develop. As you might’ve guessed, their main purpose is to fix and align your bite properly in order to avoid complications with age. While the previous mentioned equipment works to allow the other bone to catch up, facemasks work to speed up the development of the particular bone they are attached to. Depending on your prescription, you might have to wear these more than half the day for about a year or more.

Non-Removable Types

  • Herbst: These devices work to fix overbites. They do so by holding and maintaining your lower jaw in an advanced position. Over time, your bones will reform and remodel into this advanced position. That way, over time, you won’t require the tool as your bite gap has been reduced.
  • Twin Block (Fixed): This is the same as the previously mentioned model, except this one is non removable.

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