Your child is going to be fitted with braces, and they might need to wear headgear as well. They may not be thrilled about it, but a visit with Dr. Karen Reese helps them understand why it’s needed.
Reese Orthodontics in New Hope and Chanhassen, Minnesota, provides compassionate, caring orthodontic treatment for children and adults. Dr. Reese explains the need for headgear to your child in simple, understandable language.
In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words. She shows your child pictures of jawlines that haven’t been corrected. Your loved one quickly understands that the headgear is going to help them have a normal face and jawline in the future.
Following are myths and facts about orthodontic headgear.
Myth: Headgear isn’t safe
Fact: Headgear is completely safe when worn properly
Orthodontic headgear is very safe when it’s worn properly. Dr. Reese gives you and your child complete instructions for wearing headgear. She has your child practice using it in the office so she can see that they’re wearing it correctly.
Following each step when putting on and taking off headgear ensures a safe experience. The elastic bands must be released before the headgear is removed. This avoids any possibility of a rubber band snapping and ricocheting back into your child’s face.
Myth: Headgear causes abnormal jaw development
Fact: Headgear encourages proper jaw development
Your child’s headgear helps their upper or lower jaw move into the correct position so they develop a proper bite. Your child may have a Class II malocclusion, where their upper front teeth are protruding too far outward over their lower teeth and jaw. Your child might be biting into their palate instead of their bite aligning and meeting the lower teeth.
If the overbite isn’t corrected, gum disease, TMJ, or other complications may result. The headgear works together with your child’s braces and elastic bands to place force on their upper jaw to move it backward to be in line with their lower jaw.
If your child has a Class III malocclusion, their lower teeth jut forward more than their upper teeth. In this case, their jaw comes too far forward and their chin extends outward from their face, forming an exaggerated profile.
Headgear helps correct this malocclusion by creating force on their lower jaw, forcing it back into proper alignment. Elastic bands are often attached to the braces on their upper teeth in treating this situation, as well.
Myth: Headgear has to be worn 24 hours a day
Fact: Headgear should be worn 12-14 hours a day or longer, but not 24 hours
Your child doesn’t want to wear headgear outside. Children often make fun of any difference in their peers. Instead of wearing their headgear at school, they can put their headgear on when they get home from school and wear it throughout the night.
Call our office most convenient to you or book an appointment online today if your child needs orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite. The outcome when the braces and headgear come off will be a beautiful smile.