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Orthodontic Headgear Braces - Dental Health Care Guides
Dental Health Care Guides

Orthodontic Headgear Braces

Headgear for Braces – Orthodontic treatment is required for those who dream straight teeth and perfect smile. The most common orthodontic help for most people is braces. There are wide varieties of braces from highly visible conventional metal braces to invisible clear plastic braces. However, there are some specific situations that using braces alone is not enough. For these problems, your orthodontist will possibly suggest headgear braces that can help move teeth and align the jaw more effectively than traditional braces due to their additional pressure. So, what is a headgear appliance? How is it differ from traditional braces?

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What Does Headgear for Braces Do

Headgear is a device that has double functions; to move teeth and guide jaw growth. Unlike traditional braces that are applied inside the mouth, headgear braces are worn outside. While traditional braces only consist of wires and bands, headgear apparatus has three parts. The first part is bands that are attached to the back teeth. The second one is a wire that has U-shape that connects the bands to the headgear. The last part, that makes it so different from other braces, is the headpiece. It slides over the head to keep the headgear in its position. Designed specifically that way, headgear is intended to fix over- and underbite in children. That is why it is mostly used by children as their jaw is still growing. Adults are rarely seen wearing this apparatus.

This gear is available in two types. Facebow is the most common type. It is called facebow because it has a bow-shaped wire that is attached to the upper molars. There is a strap over the head or behind the neck to attach the bow to the headpiece. The second type is called J hook. While the first type uses the wire bow, the J-hook uses two wire loops that attach to the braces.

How long should one wear headgear? There is no exact length of time to wear headgear since it depends on the specific orthodontic problems that the patients have. Generally, children need to wear headgear for 10 to -20 months with 12 to 14 hours-wearing per day. If children wear the gear less than that prescribed number of hours, say they only wear it 6 hours a day, it won’t give effective result and the treatment will be longer. Headgear does not need to be worn 12 hours in a row. For example, it can be worn a couple hour in the morning and removed during school hours. It can be worn again for 10 hours in the evening and the night.

In a few first day after you wear headgear, your molars might feel loose and even hurt. Do not feel worried about this because it’s just a normal adjustment. The pain will soon pass as you get accustomed to the gear. If the pain becomes persistent, visit your orthodontist. Don’t forget to clean your headgear regularly. Wear it for the prescribed time for best result. When you do sports, remove the appliance to avoid teeth injury and damage of the headgear.