Types of Appliances

Braces & Invisalign in Laredo, TX

At Laredo Orthodontics, we're proud to help patients throughout Laredo, TX and the surrounding areas achieve gorgeous new smiles through high-quality orthodontic treatment. We provide a variety of treatment options at our office, and while braces and Invisalign are some of the most common treatments we offer, they're far from the only appliances we use to create beautiful smiles! In addition to braces and Invisalign, we offer a range of orthodontic appliances that can solve a variety of problems and help you achieve your dream smile.

Orthodontic Appliances in Laredo, TX


Elastics are critical to braces treatment, helping us treat a variety of malocclusions and jaw problems. Elastics are essentially small rubber bands that we use to attach brackets on the upper and lower teeth, allowing us to put pressure on the jaw and change jaw alignment. We'll provide specific instructions for elastics, and it's vital that you follow them closely to ensure successful treatment.


External headgear works by placing pressure against the teeth and the jaw, helping to correct jaw alignment issues like excessive overbite. Consistency is key when it comes to headgear, so ensure that you're wearing your headgear for the full number of required hours each day.


Upper front teeth protrusion is one of the most common problems that we treat as an orthodontist in Laredo, but normally, the problem isn't really about the upper teeth. Instead, the issue is normally a lower jaw that's too small or too far back. The Herbst appliance places pressure on the lower jaw and prevents it from moving backward, helping to stimulate growth and gradually shift the lower jaw forward.

Similar to braces, there are a few things you'll need to adjust to while wearing the appliance. You may notice that speaking feels awkward or notice a slight lisp, but this will fade with time as you speak more with the appliance in your mouth. You'll also need to monitor your diet and avoid certain foods while wearing a Herbst appliance. We'll provide specific instructions when we fit you for your appliance, but here are some of the foods you'll need to avoid while wearing a Herbst appliance:

  • Ice
  • Slushies
  • Popsicles
  • Caramels
  • Hard candy
  • Bubblegum
  • Raw apples & carrots
  • Nuts


Positioners allow us to put the finishing touches on your new smile, making small, precise shifts in the alignment of your teeth. We'll normally use positioners for about 4-8 weeks at the end of your treatment.

Rapid Palatal Expander

A rapid palatal expander is a unique orthodontic appliance that allows us to influence and guide the growth of your child's jaw, helping to create more room in the mouth and prevent crowding without the need for tooth extraction. Palatal expansion works because during childhood, the left and right halves of the upper jaw aren't yet a single bone: they're separated with a small gap running down the middle. The rapid palatal expander places outward pressure on the two halves of the jaw, pushing them outwards and stimulating new bone to grow in the middle. This allows to slowly, gently, and painlessly widen the upper jaw, creating more room in the jaw and a healthier, more beautiful smile!


Whether you get treatment with braces or Invisalign, you'll need to wear retainers at the end of your treatment. The retention phase normally lasts for a minimum of 24 months, and it's vital to ensuring that your new smile lasts you a lifetime. We'll provide specific instructions on wearing and caring for your retainer during your fitting appointment.


Spacers are small pieces of elastic that fit snugly between the teeth, allowing us to create a slight degree of separation so we can fit metal bands around them to anchor braces. Spacers aren't always necessary, but they're a necessary step in preparing for braces for some patients.

Contact Your Cotulla & Zapata, TX Orthodontic Specialists!

Each of these appliances comes with its own benefits and lets us treat a unique range of problems, and your Laredo orthodontist will work with you to determine the best combination of treatments for your specific situation. Feel free to contact us to learn more about orthodontic appliances, and if you're ready to get started with treatment, simple request a consultation online. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!