Headgear & Reverse Headgear
The more headgear is worn, the faster the teeth move. Dr.
Parigini will recommend the correct number of hours. Usually it is worn
12-14 hours a day. If it is not worn enough on one day, it must be made
up on the next. Once headgear treatment is started, it must be adhered
to continuously in order to produce a successful treatment result. The
key to success with your headgear is consistency.
By using the neck or head as an anchor, the straps produce a
steady pressure that gradually aligns the protruding upper and lower
jaw with the respective upper and lower teeth. The headgear works by
slowing the growth of the prospective jaw, allowing the opposite jaw
time to "catch up".
Headgear has two parts: a soft strap with springs (or loaded
straps) attached to it and a metal part called a facebow that fits into
the bands or archwires.
Headgear is not to be worn during meals, active sports or
while brushing your teeth.
Make sure to put the headgear in a place where it won't be
damaged or lost. Brush with a soft bristled toothbrush to keep it clean
and shiny. The strap can be washed in cold, soapy water.
Always remove the elastic force before removing the headgear
from your mouth to prevent it from springing back and causing injury to
the face or eyes.
If it hurts or breaks, call the office to arrange an
appointment to adjust or repair it, as the fit will change with time.
If your headgear is lost, or damaged beyond repair, there may be a
The patient is in total control of this part of the treatment.
Dr. Parigini has designed the treatment to proceed in a careful manner
and is dependent upon each patient's cooperation for success.
The Quad and Bi-Helix expansion appliances are used to widen
the upper and/or lower arches and provide space for your teeth to be
Your teeth, cheeks and tongue will be sore for a few days
after initial placement. Chewing on soft foods will help work out the
soreness. Should the cheek or tongue become irritated, warm salt water
rinses should help speed the healing process.
It may be difficult to pronounce certain words for a short
time. Be patient; you will adapt to this change within a few days.
As expansion occurs, you may notice a space developing between
your front teeth. Do not become alarmed; this is normal. Dr. Parigini
will close the space as you proceed with treatment.
Do not play with the appliances using your fingers, pencils
etc. Do not flip it with your tongue as this can cause the bands or
appliances to become loose or even break.
The Herbst appliance is used to optimize the conditions for
growth of the lower jaw in a forward direction, while at the same time
applying pressure to the upper jaw in a backwards direction. It can
also be designed to allow expansion to the upper arch. This appliance
helps to correct the front-to-back relationship of the upper and lower
jaws. The Herbst stays in your mouth for at least 9-12 months.
The rod and tube that work like a shock absorber actually
connect the upper and lower jaw.
This really doesn't interfere with the opening and closing of
your mouth or with eating. You will find side-to-side movement is
somewhat restricted. If you open wide, and the appliance comes apart,
open wide once more and guide the appliance back together again as you
close. The inside of your cheeks may be irritated by the appliance
until these areas have built up calluses. Warm salt water rinses will
help speed the healing process.
It is best to sleep on your back as pressure on the cheeks can
cause irritation. After the first few days you will find this appliance
much easier to wear.