Herbst Jaw Corrector
What comes to mind when you think about orthodontics? Many patients tend to think about the correction of crooked teeth and the use of braces. Orthodontics involves much more than the correction of misaligned teeth. For many orthodontic patients, correction in the alignment of the bite may also be needed. One such issue is an overbite, when the front teeth are too far forward. This appearance can actually result from the lower jaw being set too far back. Headgear used to be the way to correct this issue. But headgear can be embarrassing, and may cause many would-be orthodontic patients to avoid treatment altogether. At Amborn Orthodontics, we can help to correct bite issues with the Herbst jaw corrector.
What is the Herbst Jaw Corrector?The Herbst jaw corrector is a non-removeable orthodontic appliance that is used primarily to treat overbites. Developed over 100 years ago by Dr. Herbst, this appliance holds the lower jaw forward with metal rods. It is generally worn for 8 months to a year, during which time periodic adjustments are made to continue moving the lower jaw forward (although, sometimes, this is not necessary).
How Does It Work?The device consists of four stainless steel metal bands that are set on your back molars. Metal cylinders are attached to the upper two bands. Two metal bars are attached to the bottom bands, which run along the back teeth in your lower jaw. There are also two metal rods that slide into the cylinders on the top teeth. The cylinders and rods work together to correct your overbite. They hold your lower jaw forward in the correct position. Over time, your jaw grows into its new position, essentially eliminating the bite issue. Expansion screws are used to widen the dental arch, making room for crooked teeth while aiding in correcting your bite as well.
Caring for Your Jaw CorrectorSome special care is needed for the Herbst jaw corrector, as well as for the health of your mouth. While the device is durable, it should still be cleaned regularly. It is also important that you avoid certain types of food, particularly foods that are hard or sticky. And, because the device lays flat against your teeth, extra care should be taken with your teeth to avoid issues like tooth decay and gum disease.
Getting Accustomed to the Herbst Jaw CorrectorIt will take some time to adjust to the Herbst jaw corrector once it is set in place. You may notice that you have difficulty speaking at first, but this difficulty will go away as time goes on. You may notice that you have some trouble swallowing, as well as an issue with drooling. Both will eventually disappear. It is common to experience sore gums, as well as sore cheeks and/or lips. Wax on the metal can help avoid irritation. You may also experience pain or discomfort when your jaw corrector is adjusted. This discomfort can often be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Once your Herbst jaw corrector is removed, we can then begin the comprehensive orthodontic treatment necessary to finalize your bite and provide you with both stability and a beautiful smile. For more information, or to find out if the Herbst jaw corrector is right for you, contact Amborn Orthodontics at (503) 967-9887 today.