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Orthodontist in Tysons Explains Headgear and Other Appliances

July 24, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Farshad Farhoumand @ 7:19 pm

smiling girl with headgearPretty much everyone knows about braces — they’re a system of brackets and wires that helps to reposition teeth. However, you may be less familiar with all of the appliances that often work with braces to help them accomplish their task of correcting tooth alignment and bite problems. Your orthodontist in Tysons is here to provide you with a brief and fascinating guide into some of these remarkable devices.


Headgear is famous — or perhaps infamous — as the most noticeable orthodontic appliance. Although it may look a little funny, it is extremely useful! In many cases, it is essential for achieving a well-aligned jaw and teeth.

There are a few different types of headgear, and they may be used for any of the following purposes:

  • To pull teeth back and create room for other teeth
  • To realign the jaw, thus correcting a significant overbite or underbite
  • To correct an open bite

Headgear is most commonly used for children, but adults sometimes need it as well.


Spacers are little rubber pieces that your orthodontist may place between your teeth a few days before you receive your braces. Their purpose is to create a bit of room between the teeth so your it is easier to put your braces’ brackets and wires in place.

Palatal Expanders

A palatal expander is a device commonly used in children who are undergoing orthodontic treatment. It widens the upper arch of teeth, thereby helping to address problems like crossbite and overcrowding. An expander can shorten the overall length of time that a child needs to wear braces, and it is unlikely to cause any pain.

Elastics (Interarch Rubber Bands)

Interarch rubber bands, often called elastics, are tiny rubber bands that are attached to the braces via tiny hooks. They serve to connect the upper and lower braces, thereby helping to correct bite problems. If you need rubber bands as part of your orthodontic treatment, is important that you change them a few times a day so they can maintain their strength and properly do their job.


You’ve completed the primary phase of your orthodontic treatment — congratulations! However, you still need to work a bit to maintain your results even after your braces are removed. Your orthodontist will provide you with a custom-made retainer. Wearing it regularly is essential because your teeth aren’t quite solidified into their new positions, and the retainer will prevent them from drifting back out of place.

Getting the Most out of Your Orthodontic Appliances

To make your orthodontic treatment as easy and effective as possible, it is vital that you closely follow your orthodontist’s instructions for using any extra appliances. If you do your best to comply, you could be the owner of a straight, gorgeous smile before you know it!

Meet Our Orthodontist

Dr. Mina Abdolahi, a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, has been practicing the art and science of orthodontics since she earned her master’s degree in 2013. She is proud to help members of the Tysons community to achieve straight, healthy smiles. If you would like to talk to her about getting braces, contact our office at 703-625-6229.

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