Besides the many important health, increased confidence, and aesthetic benefits that orthodontic treatment provides, another important benefit that orthodontic treatment that should be discussed is improved jaw functionality. Routine treatment to a child with an overbite will not remedy the concern. Frequently used jointly with braces, the Herbst appliance is utilized to enable the lower jaw to properly develop in the forward direction. Eventually, the application of the Herbst Appliance will lead to an ideal bite pattern. A misaligned bite, when left untreated, can provide a threat to the long-term health and well-being of a child’s teeth, gums, as well jaw.
A child’s molars are securely fixed to a Herbst appliance. The upper and lower jaw are connected by a metal tube which is included with the Herbst appliance. Dr. Austin Rahaim can both manage and control the position of the jaw in relation to the upper set of teeth. The typical time of treatment with a Herbst appliance is 12 months. However, depending on your child’s individual unique needs, the typical 12-month time frame might vary.
Securely Fastened To The Teeth
The primary feature that differentiates the Herbst appliance compared to headgear is that headgear will frequently cause a problem for those patients who do not like to wear headgear for that long of a period. In contrast, the Herbst appliance cannot be removed. Consequently, the parent of a child will not need to keep track of the number of hours per day that their child wears the Herbst appliance. The Herbst appliance is securely fastened to a child’s teeth. To assure maximum effectiveness, headgear needs to be worn for a duration that lasts 12 to 14 hours per day.
A major difference between the Herbst appliance and headgear is the appearance of the child who is wearing the Herbst appliance. Comprised of metal hooks, or facebow which straps to a head cap or is anchored to the back of the head or neck, headgear is quite bulky. A far more discreet option is the Herbst appliance. Although the Herbst appliance might be visible if a child laughs or speaks, the Herbst appliance is by far a less obtrusive option than headgear.
When a child initially has the Herbst appliance installed, there could be some initial muscle sensitivity as well as soreness to the teeth themselves. However, when a child’s mouth area begins to adapt to the Herbst appliance, any tenderness or soreness that the child is experiencing will almost always gradually dissipate completely.
Irritation Of Soft Tissues
The Herbst appliance is made of metal. Consequently, the Herbst appliance can sometimes cause minor soft tissue irritation. If soft tissue irritation manifests itself, it normally will originate in the lower gums. A child’s mouth will adapt to this type of soft tissue discomfort. Dental wax is particularly effective in easing soft tissue irritation that may develop.
Maintaining A Proper Diet
Particularly after the first week or two after the Herbst appliance is installed, the consumption of softer food will help ease any muscle soreness that might be experienced. Candy and chewing gum are sticky types of food products that should be eliminated from the diet. Hard and crunchy types of food such as popcorn should also be eliminated from the diet. These types of food products can damage the Herbst appliance and cause the treatment time to be extended.