There are many different orthodontic appliances at Frial Orthodontics. Dr. Frial will recommend the correct appliance, taking into account both comfort and efficacy, to give you a healthy, beautiful smile.

elastics (rubber bands)


Elastics (rubber bands) are very important to your treatment. They are used to coordinate the upper and lower teeth to correct the bite. Dr. Frial will instruct you on which direction to wear the elastics depending on your bite. It is important to wear them as instructed in terms of the position and number of hours in order to get the best results.




The Forsus appliance is used for larger overbites and is an alternative to elastics, headgear, or Herbst appliance. Dr. Frial may also recommend Forsus if a patient is not cooperative with their elastics, since it is fixed and not removable. Even though it is fixed, the patient can do normal movements with their lower jaw, so it doesn’t affect eating. Another advantage is full braces can be on at the same time as the Forsus appliance.

Forsus may be worn anywhere from six months to 12 months, depending on the amount of overbite and how the jaws are responding. Your Forsus will be checked during your adjustment visits to our Laguna Niguel orthodontic office.


herbst appliance


The Herbst appliance corrects an excessive overbite. It encourages the lower jaw to catch up in growth with the upper jaw. As with the Forsus appliance, opening and closing movement still occurs easily, so patients do not have any issues chewing their food with the lower jaw in its new forward position.

The Herbst is mainly used for younger patients while the jaws are still growing. It is commonly used during Phase-One orthodontics (early interceptive treatment) for about 12 months.


palatal expander

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander widens the upper jaw. It is ideally used for younger patients while the growth plate (palatal suture) has not fused.

A palatal expander is mainly used for those with crowded teeth and/or a high palate. If it is done early, it can prevent future extractions of teeth. An expander can also be used for the lower jaw, but it is adjusted slower since there is no suture like the upper palate.

Dr. Frial will instruct you when and how to adjust the expander. After activate expansion, it stays in the mouth for a total of about six to eight months to allow the bones to stabilize.




Retainers are necessary to keep your teeth straight. They are worn full-time for about six months, then only when sleeping thereafter. The three main types of retainers are:

  • The traditional Hawley retainer, which is a removable retainer made of a combination of metal wires and sturdy acrylic. We offer different colors and designs.
  • The clear retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire surface of the teeth. It looks similar to Invisalign®, but is stronger for longevity.
  • Fixed/bonded retainer, which is cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower teeth.

Each retainer has their pros and cons, which we will be happy to review with you.




Separators or spacers are small elastic bands that are placed between the teeth, usually the back molars, to create space for orthodontic metal bands (back braces). The spacers stay between the teeth for one to two weeks. They will be removed before we place the orthodontic bands.

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