Our orthodontist, Dr. Pat Cuozzo, offers a variety of orthodontic appliances that accompany traditional treatments to straighten the teeth or correct over- or under-bites. A number of these appliances are helpful in providing the most optimal results, and some of them can be used by themselves to address a number of orthodontic issues. Contact Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists for more information.


Retainers can be fixed or removable and are placed after braces have been removed. They serve a vital purpose in keeping the new position of the teeth secure. The length of time retainers are needed to be worn typically depends on each individual case.


Headgear is useful in correcting over- and under-bites. It is made of a strap that goes around the head, fixed to a facebow that’s typically attached to the mouth via a retainer to help correct the bite issue. Headgear is usually only to be warn for specific time periods during the day.

Rubber Bands

Rubber bands, or elastics, work with traditional orthodontic treatments such as braces. They can sometimes be vital to ensure the optimal success of your treatment, adding pressure to the jaws and teeth in order to bring them into a straighter position.

Fixed Herbst Appliance

The fixed Herbst appliance corrects overbite by encouraging the lower jaw to position itself in a more forward direction. It can also pressure the upper molars to move backward. The Herbst appliance is removable only by the orthodontist, and is typically in place for a minimum of 12 months.


Positioners are elastic mouthpieces typically used in the final stages of orthodontic treatment. After braces have been removed, positioners serve to guide the teeth into the finalized position.

Palatal Expander

An expander is fixed in place for several months to widen the upper jaw in order to correct a cross-bite or give the teeth more room to erupt inside the mouth.

For more information on orthodontic appliances from our Monmouth County, New Jersey practice, please contact Dr. Pat Cuozzo.

Orthodontic Emergencies

Sometimes, orthodontic appliances can cause soreness and discomfort in the mouth, issues that can often be addressed at home. However, if an appliance breaks, patients should contact Dr. Pat Cuozzo’s office for help and to avoid any delays in treatment that could make the problem worse.

Here are some examples of orthodontic emergencies, and how they can be treated:

  • Bent Facebow (Headgear)
    In this instance, you should call Dr. Cuozzo’s office for help. The headgear should not be worn until after you’ve consulted with Dr. Cuozzo.
  • Headgear Discomfort
    This may be the result of not properly wearing the headgear. Typically, headgear that feels more comfortable after time spent getting used to it. If the problem persists, please call Dr. Cuozzo’s office.
  • Oral Soreness/Discomfort
    Sometimes, new appliances and adjustments can cause discomfort or soreness in the lips, teeth, tongue, and cheeks. Warm saltwater rinses, dental wax, and over-the-counter pain relievers may help; however, Dr. Cuozzo’s office should be contacted if pain and discomfort persist.
  • Loose Appliance
    Dental wax covering the part of the appliance hurting the mouth is often a quick remedy for loose appliances.
  • Loose Wire
    Dental wax can help in these instances; and tweezers can be used to adjust the wire back into its proper place.
  • Jutting or Poking Wire
    Dental wax can provide short-term relief to the area of the jutting wire. The wire can be pushed down with a pencil eraser until corrected by Dr. Cuozzo at your next appointment.
  • Loose Band or Bracket
    In cases of a loose band or bracket, an appointment at our office should be scheduled immediately if the bracket has come fully loose. The free bracket should be wrapped in tissue and brought with you to your appointment. In cases where the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, dental wax can typically be applied and used to fasten it back into place.

As always, you should contact our orthodontics office with any questions or concerns. We will be happy to help you correct any problems with appliances, or schedule an emergency office visit.