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West Seattle (206) 935-2414

Southcenter (206) 575-1194

Renton Highlands (425) 430-8844


Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Connecting elastics from your upper teeth to your lower teeth is the only way to ensure your bite fits together properly. Wear rubber bands consistently as instructed, and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they’re worn as prescribed.


Headgear is used to treat patients with excessive overjet, with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw, or an underbite with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw. Headgear gently “pulls” your upper jaw forward or backward to bring it into better balance with the lower jaw.

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander is used to widen the upper jaw so that your upper and lower teeth fit together better.

How do they work?

  • They are fixed to bands around the molars to skeletally expand or widen the upper jaw
  • Small expansion screw is turned to widen the jaw.
  • If the expander is activated properly, most patients get a temporary space between their upper front teeth

Our orthodontist will provide you with all the details about this appliance and demonstrate how to use it effectively to achieve the desired result.


Retainers are used between phases of treatment and after treatment is complete to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Please wear your retainer as instructed by our orthodontist to ensure your results last a lifetime!

What Are the Types of Retainers?

Hawley Retainers – These are removable retainers that have a metal wire attached to an acrylic arch. These retainers can be adjusted for minor tooth movements and allow the bite to settle.

Essix Retainers – These clear retainers are created using a mold of your newly aligned teeth to keep them in position.

Fixed Retainers – These consist of a thin wire that is properly adapted and bonded to the inside surfaces of the front 4 or 6 teeth to prevent teeth from shifting after braces or Invisalign.

How Long Do I Need to Wear Retainers?

Bottom line…retainers are forever! Wear them as directed by your orthodontist, every single day. As the years go by, you may wear them less and less but NEVER throw them away. Minor tooth movement is bound to happen so do your part to protect the smile we’ve worked so hard to accomplish!

How Do I Clean My Retainers?

When retainers are removed, brush them carefully with your toothbrush & toothpaste to remove plaque. If plaque builds up on your retainer, you may use “Efferdent,” a retainer cleaner, to clean them. When not wearing your retainers, be sure to put them in the case provided so your dog doesn’t get them!

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