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Orthodontic Headgear in Surrey

Orthodontic Headgear in Surrey

Although headgear in orthodontics isn't as common as it used to be, it can still be effective in repairing orthodontic issues. But what exactly is it? Today, our Surrey orthodontists discuss how orthodontic headgear is used, and the benefits it can provide.

Orthodontic Treatment Using Headgear

Headgear is an orthodontic appliance that can repair a patient's misaligned bite and assist in proper jaw alignment and development. Unlike traditional braces, headgear is partially worn outside of the mouth. Headgear is most commonly used to correct Class II and III misalignment issues (the more severe types). Headgear may also be used to correct position of overcrowded teeth.

Headgear isn't used as often due to technological advancements in dentistry, but for children whose jaw bones are still growing, it can be quite beneficial. If your child's bite is severely out of alignment, an orthodontist may recommend headgear.

Different Types of Headgear

Depending on the orthodontic needs, your orthodontist may suggest one of three types of headgear. These options include:

Cervical Pull

A cervical pull is typically used to fix a malocclusion called an overjet (Commonly referred to as 'buck teeth').

Cervical headgear is also utilized to correct an overbite. An overbite is a misalignment between the top and bottom teeth, which causes the top teeth to stick out further than they should. Cervical headgear uses straps that wrap behind the neck, or cervical vertebrae and attaches to braces inside the mouth.

High Pull

High-pull headgear can also used to correct an overjet or overbite. It uses straps attached from the upper jaw to the top and back of the head.

High-pull headgear is most commonly used on children whose teeth have an open bite (no contact between their top and bottom front teeth).

Reverse Pull (Facemask)

This type of headgear is most commonly used to correct an underbite or an underdeveloped upper jaw. An underbite is when the lower teeth extend out past the upper teeth. Reverse-pull headgear often uses rubber bands that attach to braces on the top teeth.

The Parts of Orthodontic Headgear

Orthodontic headgear has more anatomy involved than traditional braces. Orthodontic headgear will include:

The Head Cap - As its name would imply, a head cap sits on the top of the head, providing anchorage for the rest of the apparatus.

Fitting Straps - The fitting straps used depend on the type of headgear. For example, cervical headgear uses one fitting strap attached to the head cap that sits behind the neck. High-pull headgear uses several straps, wrapped around the back of the head.

Facebow - This U-shaped, metal functional appliance attaches to the molars, head cap, and straps using bands or tubes.

Elastic Bands, Tubes & Hooks - These are used to anchor the various parts of the headgear to the molars and other teeth.

Chin Cup, Forehead Pad & Mouth Yoke - Headgear designed to correct an underbite typically uses a chin cup that uses wires to attach to the forehead pad. This type of apparatus doesn’t require a head cap as it relies on a wire frame which runs from the forehead pad to the chin cup. The frame houses a horizontal mouth yoke.

Braces - Although not all headgear uses braces, some forms will utilize hooks or bands to attach to braces worn inside the mouth on either the upper or lower teeth.

Treating Orthodontic Issues With Headgear

Headgear is used to correct tooth and jaw misalignment and tooth overcrowding, specifically in children. Facial aesthetics may even improve as headgear corrects the profile of the face. It can also, of course, enhance the appearance of your child’s teeth and smile.

Headgear will be significantly more effective while a child is still growing. As your child grows, headgear can prevent the growth of the jawbone, forcing it to align properly by using ongoing, consistent pressure and gentle pressure that is applied throughout the duration of treatment time. Headgear can also help your child avoid the need for corrective jaw surgery later in their life.

The amount of time the headgear must be worn is a critical factor in how successful treatment will be. Headgear must be worn anywhere from 12 to 14 hours per day, and possibly longer. This method of orthodontic treatment options requires some discipline, so it may not be right for everyone.

Are you wondering about the best way to repair your child's misaligned teeth or bite? Contact our Surrey orthodontists to schedule a consultation for oral health and beautiful smile.

Book your first consultation today with our experienced Orthodontists in Surrey.