Dental Headgear

It used to be common to see people with class II malocclusion (buck teeth or excessive overbite) wearing elaborate dental headgear to try and pull their teeth back into position. If needed, a headgear is worn only at home due to psycho-social reasons. Today, we have more options such as the Herbst Appliance or even rubber bands with braces to correct overbites.

Difficulties with Children

It was often found that children experienced major difficulties in wearing their headgear. The issues involved were primarily social. Young patients, when confronted with the prospect of wearing headgear, would complain that it was like having a bit in their mouth.

To prevent accidents, don't wear your headgear while roughhousing or playing or even while swimming or playing contact sports.

Headgear comes in different types to suit specific conditions. For instance, there may be a strap that fits over the head to a metal facebow that has a "J" wire that fits with the front teeth brace.

In case of an overbite, the dental headgear is used to pull the teeth backwards or to arrest the forward growth of the jaw. In case the tension provided by the headgear is inadequate, the orthodontist may also advise using elastics (orthodontic rubber bands)to provide additional pressure.

If this is so, you need to ensure that the elastic is replaced every three to four days to retain the pressure and ensure that there is always a supply at hand.

Cooperation with the Dentist

A key issue in using dental headgear is cooperation. The patient needs to provide excellent cooperation and ensure that the headgear is in place for the prescribed number of hours per day. These hours seldom number less than 16.

A significant number of these hours can be accumulated while asleep, but there is daytime use also.

Dental headgear was commonly used some time ago. However, most orthodontists will not prescribe it today because there are equally good and far more acceptable options available, but for some cases a headgear might still be used. 

Contact Us

For a complimentary examination appointment to see if you have a dental alignment problem and what treatment would be right for you, please contact us online or call 650-961-5047.

We'll answer any questions you may have, and give you a free written estimate regarding costs and insurance benefits before you leave.

Dr. Ashouri


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