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During your orthodontic treatment in San Antonio, you may be required to use a variety of appliances. In limited situations, this could also include headgear. These special devices, in addition to the standard orthodontic archwires and brackets, help your teeth and jaw move into their ideal position, giving you the best possible orthodontic results.

While rarely used, orthodontic headgear plays an important role in the treatment of some types of growth irregularities. Sometimes "reverse" headgear encourages the lower jaw to grow forward if your child has an overbite. It also promotes proper growth and relationship with the upper jaw. Other types of headgear work by slowing the growth of the lower jaw in the instances of an underbite.

Headgear is beneficial when used on growing children with irregular jaw growth patterns. Primarily because it helps eliminate the need for surgical reconstruction at a later point in time.

When needed, headgear is typically worn for a set period of time each day, for several months, depending on the child.

Does My Child Need Headgear?

Early intervention in orthodontics can make a massive difference in your child’s growth patterns. For example, if we diagnose your young child with a severe bite problem caused by jaw position, we can use orthognathic corrective devices—like headgear—to be proactive about correcting this problem. This device may save your child from having to have invasive jaw surgery later in life.

There are various types of orthodontic headgear. The cervical design type is a very common one. This appliance consists of a U-shaped wire that runs along the front of your child’s face and is held in place by rubber bands on the back teeth. A strap is also included to go just above the nape of the neck. Another device is the high-pull headgear, which is similar to the cervical pull headgear but has a strap that goes over and behind the crown of your child’s head.

The reverse-pull or "facemask" type of headgear, which is typically used to correct an underbite, is the third type. The device is made up of two pads, one for your forehead and one for your chin. The two pads are joined together by a vertical metal frame.

Rubber elastics or wires attached to the frame hook onto your teeth and move your jaw into the correct position.

Who Needs Orthodontic Headgear?

In our pediatric or teen patients who have an overbite or underbite, headgear is an effective orthodontic appliance that can gently "pull" the jaws to encourage more appropriate growth and development without surgery.

Does Headgear Work?

In rare cases, oral surgery may still be required to realign the jaws if headgear appliances are not appropriate. Alternatively, it corrects jaw growth patterns in older teens who have already matured or growth patterns that cannot be corrected.

Schedule Your Consultation

There is only one way to determine if you will require headgear while wearing braces. To schedule a consultation at our San Antonio, please contact us. San Antonio Orthodontics's board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Vandeberg will be happy to answer any questions you have about headgear and other orthodontic appliances.

Don’t trust just anyone with complex orthodontic treatment. Call the professional team at San Antonio Orthodontics for a consultation!