When individuals are confronted with the need for headgear braces there are often a huge amount of questions such as what are modern headgear braces? Are braces headgear any different than orthodontic headgear or headgear orthodontics? Are there different orthodontic headgear types? Do I have to wear braces with headgear or can I get away without needing headgear for braces? Are modern braces and headgear, headgear braces springs, and adult braces headgear just like the old braces headgear or the headgear braces stories that we all have heard about? And of course the biggest questions are always do I need them? What are they used for? And how long do they take?
What Are Headgear Braces?
Essentially headgear braces are pretty much summed up in the name. They are braces that not only attach to the teeth but are also attached to the head as well to give additional structural support. Essentially this is the way that people envision braces back in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s with old headgear braces. While this type of braces is far less common than it used to be then due to advancements in medical technology, there are still certain circumstances in which the utilization of this type of braces headgear is still essential to maintain and achieve a perfect smile.
Research shows that the appliance is a good option for correcting problems such as malocclusions (Papageorgiou, S. N et al.,2017).
Why Do You Need Headgear For Braces?
There are a few reasons why individual may need headgear braces instead of going with traditional braces. The biggest reason by far though is without the firm mounting of the headgear to the head, this could cause a misalignment of teeth in the future even after the orthodontic braces treatment is complete. To avoid any potential chance of misalignment, especially after a long orthodontic treatment like braces, the utilization of headgear can help minimize any chance of this happening.
It may also be that the misalignment cannot be corrected by attaching traditional braces to the back molars as is far more common. If it is the case that this will not achieve the desired orthodontic outcome, then is very likely that your orthodontist will suggest utilizing headgear to provide the proper mounting for your braces and the correct tension level.
What Are The Components Of Headgear?
- The head cap: the head cap is what it sounds like, the part of the headgear braces that is attached to the top of the head.
- Attachments: attachments are often times the wires and structural support that connect the headgear to the braces.
- Facebow: The facebow is the part that usually goes under the chin or around the jaw. When all three parts are put together and utilized correctly, they offer a firm secure foundation upon which the braces treatment can then begin to work to help correct serious misalignment or gaps in the teeth that could not be adjusted otherwise.
What Are The Types Of Headgear?
- Cervical-pull headgear: This type of headgear does not go around the top of the head but instead creates a U-like shape around the head, almost like a halo pulled down to the mouth level. The strap that connects it is behind the neck and is by far one of the most visually minimally invasive of all types of braces headgear that could be worn.
- High-pull headgear: This type of headgear is most often utilized to help fix overbite, also known as overjet, of the teeth. It attaches to the bottom chin and with a strap that goes around to the back of the head to help provide the tension that will pull the jaw into the correct alignment. This can be especially important if the overbite is severe as severe overbite can have not only problems when it comes to the teeth but also speech impediments, drooling, and a whole host of other potential medical and social problems that can arise when there is a severe misalignment
- Reverse-pull headgear: While high pull headgear is generally to fix overbite, reverse pull headgear is most commonly utilized to fix underbite. While both can have similar problems for the individual suffering from this issue, it’s important to make sure that you talk with your orthodontic office and get the correct headgear for your orthodontic needs.
How Long Does Headgear Take To Work?
Headgear appliances have been used to correct anterior and posterior orthodontic issues (Papageorgiou, S. N et al.,2017).
Like with many types of orthodontic issues, it largely depends on your age, how soon the problem is diagnosed, treatment progression, follow through, and a whole host of other factors. Generally, if the problem is noticed while the client is still young, a child may need to wear orthodontic headgear for as little as 6 months. This is a best case scenario though, as it is not uncommon to wear it for as long as a year though.
It is important to remember that this assumes a best-case scenario where you are visiting your orthodontic office regularly, the issue was noticed quickly, and you began treatment promptly. If these issues are left for years, or worse yet into adulthood, treatment times will often be slower as in children the treatment time is often augmented by a child’s natural growth and development, allowing it to progress faster than it does in adults whose teeth and jaws have fully developed and are harder to realign.
It is crucial to speak with your orthodontist about the headgear appliance as it may not be the best option for all orthodontic needs or may be a short term solution for some (Papageorgiou, S. N et al.,2017). If ever you have any questions or doubts, feel free to visit Ivanovortho.com and contact our orthodontic office to talk with us about your needs.
Discussing your needs, getting a checkup, and ensuring that your family meets regularly with their dentist and orthodontic office are all great ways of ensuring that easily fixable orthodontic issues do not become complex and expensive treatments.