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Orthodontic Headgear in Langley

Orthodontic Headgear in Langley

Although headgear in orthodontics is not nearly as common as it once was, it can still be an effective way of fixing orthodontic issues. But what exactly is it? In this post, our Langley orthodontists discuss orthodontic headgear, including how it's used and the benefits it offers.

Headgear as an Orthodontic Treatment

Headgear is an orthodontic appliance used to correct a patient's misaligned bite and assist in proper jaw alignment and growth. Headgear is worn partially outside of the mouth, unlike traditional braces, and is used to correct Class II and III misalignment issues (the more severe types). Headgear may also be used to correct teeth overcrowding.

Headgear isn't used as often due to technological advancements in dentistry, but it may still be recommended for children whose jaw bones are still growing. An orthodontist may recommend headgear for your child if their bite is severely out of alignment.

Types of Headgear

There are three different types of headgear that may be used depending on your orthodontic needs. 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 Anatomy of Headgear

Orthodontic headgear has more parts involved compared to traditional braces. The parts of orthodontic headgear 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 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.

Orthodontic Treatment With Headgear

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

Headgear will only be effective as a child is still growing. As your child grows, headgear can hold back the growth of the jawbone, forcing it to align properly with ongoing, consistent pressure being applied throughout the duration of treatment.

Headgear can also help your child avoid the need for corrective jaw surgery later in their life.

One of the most important requirements of successful headgear treatment is the amount of time it is worn. This can range anywhere from 12 to 14 hours per day, or longer. This method of orthodontic treatment does require some discipline, so it may not be right for everyone.

Are you looking to fix your child's bite alignment or tooth issues? Contact our Langley orthodontists to book a consultation today.

Book your first smile consultation with our Langley Orthodontists today.

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