If you hear the term headgear, it will likely conjure up images of an awkward contraption forced upon many an adolescent over the years in their quest for straight teeth. As much as patients might like to avoid it, headgear is a proven way to guide the growth of your jaw. It is definitely still used today by orthodontists for some patients to achieve their ideal smile.
Why is headgear needed?
Headgear is an appliance used to correct overbites by holding back the upper jaw’s growth, allowing the lower jaw to move into the correct position. It creates forces that guide the growth of your face and jaws, and also helps move your teeth into better position.
How much do I need to wear it?
Headgear is usually worn about 10 to 14 hours daily, and usage lasts anywhere from 6 to 18 months. The time required depends on how severe your overbite is and how much growth you have remaining. Each case is unique, so your orthodontist will identify how much wear is necessary. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions so that this portion of your treatment can move quickly and achieve optimum results.
Does headgear hurt?
Your teeth will be sore when chewing for several days when you begin wearing headgear, but will subside as long as you wear it consistently. Often the second and third days after beginning usage are the worst, and then soreness lessens. Taking ibuprofen and eating a soft diet will help. You’ll achieve the quickest relief if you continue to wear your headgear even though your teeth are sore.
How do I get the best results?
Your headgear only works if you wear it! Follow these guidelines:,/h2>
• Remove your headgear as directed so that you don’t injure yourself.
• Take off your headgear before playing sports or running.
• Don’t allow anyone to grab or pull on your headgear.
• Take your headgear with you to all orthodontist appointments.
• Follow proper techniques to care for and clean your headgear.