Orthodontic Headgear and What It’s Used For

Orthodontic Headgear and What It’s Used For article banner

How Long Should Braces Be On?

The length of time that you might wear braces varies depending on the severity of your dental problems, but most people wear them for one to three years. Sometimes your orthodontist may recommend additional orthodontic treatments, such as elastic bands and orthodontic headgear, but these items are not always used for the full length of time that you wear the braces.

What are Braces Used For?

Braces consist of a strategic array of brackets and wires designed to place gentle but steady pressure on the teeth and shift their positions gradually. Some additional orthodontic treatments involves placing small springs between brackets to help adjust spaces between teeth, and small elastic bands are sometimes worn between the top and bottom teeth.

What is Headgear Used For?

Headgear, also known as facebow headgear, is another device that your dentist may recommend to help correct a misaligned bite. Your dentist may prescribe headgear for a short time (often only for nighttime wear) to create more space for crowded teeth by moving the molars further back in the mouth.

What Does Headgear Look Like?

Headgear consists of two parts—a horseshoe-shaped metal piece that fits inside the mouth, and an outer bow-shaped piece that goes around the outside of the face and attaches to a strap. The piece inside the mouth attaches to bands (called buccal bands) on the brackets of the farthest molars on the upper teeth.