Headgear – Cumming, GA
Correct Misalignment for Healthier Smiles
Does your child have a misaligned bite that is so pronounced it cannot be treated with braces alone? Overbites, underbites, and crossbites are often the most common reasons an orthodontist will recommend headgear. At Serenity Orthodontics, we understand this reality may not be the most exciting news for you or your child; however, its effectiveness will ensure that your child’s smile moves as it should to achieve proper alignment. If you would like to learn more about headgear and how it can help support your child’s jaw and correct their bite, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What is Headgear?
Headgear is a unique orthodontic appliance that is worn externally and fits around the head. Attached to your child’s braces, the device may be worn all day or at night while asleep. Its main purpose is to move the jaw as it grows so that your child’s teeth will move into the proper position and work together effectively.
There are different types of headgear available, so depending on the needs of your child, Dr. Podray or Dr. Lewis will recommend one of the following:
- Cervical Pull that helps to correct a jaw and teeth that protrude outward (overbite or overjet)
- High Pull that also helps to address overbites and overjet as well as open bites and excessive jaw growth in the posterior of the mouth
- Reverse Pull helps to correct an underbite where the teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth
How Is Headgear Used?
When meeting with your child’s orthodontist to discuss headgear, there will be clearly defined instructions provided so that your little one understands how to wear it, clean it, and what not to do while wearing the device.
Because headgear is designed to address tooth and jaw misalignment as well as overcrowding, your child will notice a substantial difference in their facial appearance over time. Also, if your little one’s teeth sit too close together, the device will generate the necessary space to ensure a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing smile.
It is usually only recommended while your child is still growing and developing, as this will allow for easier movement and minimize the potential need for jaw surgery as an adult.
Typically, headgear is designed to be worn 12-14 hours each day. It’s necessary to abide by the recommend timeframe so that your child’s teeth and jaw will move accordingly. To achieve the designated time spent wearing headgear, the orthodontist may recommend that they put it on immediately after school and wear it until the next morning before returning to the classroom.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Headgear
While your child is wearing their headgear, it is important that they follow Dr. Podray or Dr. Lewis’s instructions for what to do and what not to do. Missing even one day with this device can cause a delay in treatment, so if you and your child want to avoid additional time with this orthodontic appliance, they should follow these tips:
- Never eat while wearing headgear. It must be removed beforehand; however, they can drink through a straw while wearing the device.
- Ultimately, it is up to you and your child whether they want to leave their headgear on or take it off while practicing good oral habits at home (i.e., brushing, flossing, rinsing).
- Avoid gum and hard candies while wearing headgear and braces.
- Some physical limitations are necessary while wearing headgear (i.e., not engaging in contact sports). Your child will also need to stay away from outdoor activities or sports that could potentially result in a fall and damage their teeth, braces, and orthodontic appliance.
- Have your child eat soft foods initially to reduce soreness while chewing.
- Remind your child that if they are to wear their headgear to school that it is only temporary.