Why am I wearing it, and what is it?
You are wearing a headgear to help correct your bite problem. It is a very important part of your treatment. Your headgear is made up of an inner bow that slides into tubes on your back teeth to apply a mild force. The outer bow goes outside of the mouth and around your cheeks to connect to a strap. The strap fits either on your head or on the back of your neck.
How does it work?
Your headgear works by using your neck or head as an anchor. The strap or elastic band places pressure against your upper teeth and jaw. This gradually moves the protruding teeth back or prevents teeth from moving when they are not supposed to. It also works by guiding the growth of the upper jaw, allowing the lower jaw and teeth to catch up.
When do I wear it?
Do not wear your headgear to school or while you are playing. If the headgear gets hit, pulled, or bumped too hard, it can damage the appliance or your teeth. Only wear the headgear when around the house or while sleeping. It is very important to wear it at least 12 hours per day. If you miss time during the week, you must make it up on the weekend!
What should I expect?
Taking the headgear off and on will not be hard after you practice a few times. Make sure you use light force and patience so that the bands on your teeth will not become loose. Your teeth may be sore during the first few days of headgear wear. The more you wear it, the less discomfort you will have. Don’t skip days of headgear wear because it makes the teeth sore and slows down your treatment. When you take your headgear off, make sure you remove the strap first so the face bow will not snap back into your eyes. Make sure you bring your headgear with you to every appointment, even emergency appointments, so it can be adjusted.
Caring for your headgear:
Brush the bow with toothpaste when you brush your teeth. You can also clean the fabric portion with laundry detergent and allow it to air dry. Do not wash the plastic strap portion.
Important things to remember:
• Always unhook the neck strap before removing the headgear.
• Never pull the headgear over your eyes to remove it.
• Never use force to place or remove the bow of the headgear.
• Always bring your headgear to your appointments.