In some cases where an underbite is present, we may recommend using a protraction facemask or reverse headgear as part of the treatment plan. This appliance is designed to fix the discrepancy between your upper and lower jaws by moving the upper jaw forward to correct the malocclusion. A reverse headgear consists of a chin cup and forehead rest connected by a wire framework. Rubber bands are hooked from the framework to either an expander or the back braces.
For the results to be successful, patient compliance is of the utmost importance. It may take several days to become accustomed to the appliance. With practice, it will become easier to place and remove the reverse headgear. We will determine the length of time you should wear your headgear, but it is generally 10-14 hours per day, which can include wearing while you sleep. You should not wear your headgear while participating in sporting activities.
Sometimes your chin may get irritated from the headgear. If this happens, you should always keep the area clean and often change the insert in the chin cup. If the skin becomes very dry, the use of moisturizing cream twice a day can be helpful. If your jaw joints are extremely sore or you cannot open and close your mouth without difficulty, stop wearing the appliance and contact us for further instructions as we may need to fit you with a different appliance. Also, if your headgear breaks or is bent, call us so we can fit you in with a repair appointment so your treatment will not be delayed.