Braces do an amazing job of fixing all sorts of orthodontic problems. As effective as they can be, they aren’t always enough on their own. For those who need to correct the alignment of their teeth and jaws while correcting more severe occlusions, orthodontic headgear can be paired with braces to great effect. There are three different types of headgear that can be used depending on what needs to be done.
Reverse pull headgear is used to correct underbites and crossbites. This type of headgear has a face frame that attaches between pads on the chin and forehead. When combined with braces, reverse pull headgear can shift the upper jaw forward to bring it in alignment with the lower jaw to correct an underbite or a crossbite. When worn as directed, it can reduce the need for jaw surgery later on, if not eliminate it entirely.
Cervical pull headgear is used to correct overbites and overjets. It has a u-shaped wire that pulls on the bands on the upper and lower molars and a strap that goes around the back of the neck. Its design allows an orthodontist to correct an overbite by holding the upper teeth in place and shifting the lower jaw forward. It functions similarly to correct an overjet, also known as “buck teeth”, bringing the teeth into the correct position and spacing.
High pull headgear is used to correct open bites, direct jaw growth, and improve jaw alignment. It can also be used to treat an overbite. This type of headgear attaches to the upper jaw and either the back or top of the head. An open bite is when the lower and upper front teeth slant outwards so they don’t close together when the jaw is shut. Between the headgear and the braces, this can be corrected so that the jaw and the teeth are positioned properly.
The biggest difference between braces and headgear with braces is that braces are solely in the mouth while headgear is outside of the mouth. While it’s not as commonly used as it used to be, it’s quite effective at correcting more severe orthodontic issues. Make sure the orthodontist’s instructions are closely followed, especially regarding wear time to get the best results from wearing orthodontic headgear.
Is your next appointment at Stellar Orthodontics coming up? Get ready by filling out any patient forms you need ahead of time. Click here to find them!