One of the most common problems orthodontists treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. Ordinarily, when we see a patient with upper teeth protruding, we tend to think that the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward. More often than not, however, this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is positioned further back than it should be. With these patients, we want to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and appliances like the Herbst appliance help this happen.
Even though the Herbst appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movements can still easily occur, and patients typically do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.
As with all kinds of braces, patients with Herbst appliances need to be careful about what they eat. For instance, chewing on ice will crack the cement and loosen the appliance. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum, and candy suckers will pull the appliance away from teeth. Hard candies will bend and loosen the Herbst appliance, too. So stay away from these foods during your orthodontic treatment.
Patients can participate in sports wearing a Herbst appliance. We have many patients playing football, soccer, softball, baseball and band wearing a Herbst.
Your Herbst appliance will be checked and adjusted at your appointments. Between appointments, you may occasionally develop sore areas on the inside of your cheeks. Please do not try to adjust the appliance yourself. Call for an appointment so that we can make the necessary adjustments.
Wearing a Herbst Appliance
At first, your mouth will feel unusually full and speaking will be awkward. But if you practice reading aloud, your ordinary speech will return quickly.
At Hutto Orthodontics, we want to enhance the smiles of children, teenagers, and adults with expert orthodontics. Dr. Hutto and Dr. Fretty have offices in Henderson and Kilgore and they proudly serve patients from Nacogdoches, Jacksonville, Carthage, Longview, Hallsville, Gladewater, Marshall, and beyond. Call one of our offices today to schedule an appointment, and we’ll give you and your family a reason to smile!