Facemask Correcting Underbite in Children
Alternatively called a reverse-pull headgear, a face mask with Hyrax is an important dental device. This device uses a child’s forehead and chin as an anchor. It is removable too and the main role it plays is to shift upper teeth and upper jaw forward. A face mask with Hyrax is only recommended to young kids whose upper jaw is not developing fast enough, making the upper teeth bite inside the lower ones.
How does a facemask look like?
It has a big metal bar that is fixed to a pad for the forehead and a chin cup and it acts as a framework for maintaining support to these facial features. The forehead pad and chin cup should be adjusted to suit the height of wearer’s face. At the mouth level, there are hooks attached to the bar to enable the rubber bands to be fastened to upper braces. These rubber bands’ role is to exert a pulling force on the upper jaw and teeth, causing them to move forward. In most situations, an orthodontist hooks these elastic bands onto an upper jaw widening gadget; the upper jaw tends to move forward easily when it is being widened as well.
To produce great results, a face mask with Hyrax should be attached for fourteen hours every day. But, if this mask is worn longer than this period, it is likely to correct the jaw issue in question soon enough. A child should wear this device for six to twelve months depending on the severity of their problem. One thing to note is that even if the face mask can correct a certain problem, a child’s jaw may continue to grow poorly yet again. This can even lead to a jaw surgery later on. An orthopedic facemask is popular though, when a child suffers from class III malocclusions that affect the maxilla (upper jaw).
Why treat class III bad bites at an early age?
Class III malocclusions do not only ruin a child’s smile but also its ability to chew food properly. These are some of the basic reasons why class III bad bites should be treated as early as possible. If this is done, the following benefits can be attained:
- Permanent changes to bone and enamel (hard tissues) and gingival ligament (soft tissues) can be prevented.
- The skeletal discrepancy between the upper jaw and lower jaw will be corrected. This will boost jaw growth, enabling a normal intermaxillary relationship.
- Occlusal function will be enhanced. A forward shift on the lower jaw due to teeth affected by crossbites leads to further lengthening. But, when a face mask with Hyrax is used, it moves the upper jaw forward. This corrects the lower jaw forward shift, gets rid of skeletal discrepancy and leads to normal jaw growth pattern from that point onward.
- It makes the next major treatment (Phase 2 orthodontic treatment) easier when a child enters adolescence. It does so by reducing the risk of the need to do an orthognathic surgery later on and if it’s necessary, making it simpler.
- To boost a child’s psychological growth by making the face more attractive.
When is the best time to take a child to have a face mask?
Orthodontists have identified three stages: 4 to 7 years, 7 to 10 years and 10 to 14 years. If a child is taken to the dentist when they are 7 to 10 years of age, it has a bigger chance of wearing the face mask with Hyrax for fewer hours each day than older kids.