While many patients of orthodontic care may not like the idea of having to wear an orthodontic headgear, there are many instances when receiving one is the best way to produce results. Headgear can be pivotal to correct a severe case of teeth misalignment, such as an underbite or overbite. By sacrificing a few months of convenience, patients who wear a headgear will witness a significantly aligned smile and better dental health.
However, not every patient who requires orthodontic treatment needs the headgear to obtain the most practical result. The orthodontist will perform a comprehensive evaluation of the mouth to determine the best method of treatment and then discuss the option with the patient. This article focuses on the applications of orthodontic headgear and its importance.
What is orthodontic headgear?
The headgear is an orthodontic device that induces a force on the teeth and jaw from the exterior side of the patient’s mouth. The headgear aims to supplement traditional braces when correcting overbite and underbite, especially in children with developing jaws. The device inhibits the development of the upper jaw for some time to allow the lower jaw to “meet up,” thus ensuring a correct bite and an aesthetically appealing dentition.
When is orthodontic headgear necessary?
Although traditional braces are highly effective for directing the teeth to their correct positions and realigning the jaw, they are sometimes not enough. In such situations, external assistance offered by the headgear can help hasten treatment and initiate tooth and jaw movement that would not be attainable with braces only. Some patients with issues that can be corrected without headgear may still benefit from wearing headgear — the dentist will discuss their options and the accompanying advantages and effects.
How long would a patient have to wear orthodontic headgear?
In contrast to popular opinion, it is not necessary for patients to wear the headgear for 24 hours daily, dealing with months of great self-awareness. In some cases, the patient only has to wear the headgear for a few as 10 hours per day, and it is very rare for the dentist to advise patients to wear them for over 14 hours daily.
This means that most children do not have to put on the headgear while in school, which is comforting for many younger patients. However, this also means that they have to be even more cautious and remember to wear the headgear according to the dentist’s recommendation for the rest of the time.
The advantages of orthodontic eadgear
The benefits of using orthodontic headgear for orthodontic treatment are lasting improvement in dental health and a more appealing, aligned and proportional smile. Although wearing the headgear is not always a preferred decision — yes, it can be uncomfortable and awkward — eventually, patients usually realize that the results far outweigh the sacrifice.
To know more about orthodontic headgear and if wearing one would be necessary to correct a misaligned bite, contact your dentist.
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