The Herbst Appliance Might Be a Good Alternative to Headgear

Posted on 05/20/2017 by Dr. Lovrovich
A woman unhappy with her metal braces!

Does your child have an overbite that you are looking to correct? If so, traditional braces alone likely won’t be able to treat the problem. In the past, the best option for correcting an overbite was headgear, but there is another possibility on the market – Herbst.

The Herbst appliance can be used along with braces and will help the lower jaw to develop forward to achieve the ideal bite, and there are several ways that Herbst is superior to headgear:

  • Compliance. Herbst is fastened to your child’s teeth, so it is much easier to ensure that he is complying with the treatment. Headgear is something that can be taken on and off, and your child will need to wear it 12-16 hours a day. This can be a problem if your child doesn’t like the appliance.
  • Appearance. One of the worst things about headgear is that it is bulky and unattractive. It consists of metal hooks, straps, and a head cap used to anchor the appliance to the mouth and the back of the neck and head. Herbst is more discreet, and while you might be able to see it when your child speaks or laughs, it is far less noticeable than headgear.
  • Adjustment time. Since Herbst is on your teeth 24/7, it is usually much easier to adjust to than headgear. That’s not to say that it is easy to live with right away. Like other orthodontic appliances, there is an adjustment period that might involve muscle tenderness and soft tissue irritation, especially with the lower gums. To relieve some of these symptoms, you may want to eat a soft diet and take over-the-counter pain relievers, but they should subside in a matter of days.

Would your child love to trade out his headgear for Herbst? Contact our office today.

4540 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 140
Seattle WA 98105-3941

Tel: (206) 525-7000
Fax: (206) 525-0479

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