What does it do? It helps correct an excessive overbite by placing pressure against the upper teeth and jaw to hold the teeth in position or help move them back into better positions. It can also be used as an “orthopedic” appliance, helping control the growth of the jaws by “holding” the upper jaw and allowing the lower jaw to grow forward. The pressured used and time worn depends upon the severity of the problem. Orthopedic changes take place over an extended time period while the patient is growing. To produce a successful treatment result, the headgear must be worn every night.
Headgear is a device with two parts: a soft strap with springs or elastics attached to it and a metal part, called a facebow, that fits into the bands or onto the archwires. A headgear adds extra force to the braces as they move the teeth.
How does it work? By using your neck or head as an anchor, the strap or elastic bands produce a steady pressure that gradually aligns the protruding upper jaw and teeth with the lower jaw and teeth. The headgear can work by slowing the growth of the upper jaw, allowing the lower jaw time to catch up.
How long will it be worn? The headgear is usually worn over a year or more to correct an excessive overbite. If it is being used to hold the back teeth in place, it will usually be worn for only a portion of the total treatment time.
How often should it be worn? The more it is worn the faster the teeth move. Dr. Mibab will recommend the correct number of hours. Usually it is worn 14 to 16 hours each day. If it is not worn enough on one day, the time must be made up on the next day. Once headgear treatment is started, it must be adhered to continuously. The key to success with your headgear is consistency.
When is it not to be worn? The headgear should never be worn during any active sport or activity such as swimming, soccer or dancing. It should be removed while eating or brushing your teeth.
Please bring your headgear to your adjustment appointments.