Any appliance that you wear outside of your mouth is called an extraoral appliance. One of the most common ones is called headgear. Headgear is worn to move the upper teeth and jaw back.
The parts of the Head-gear:
1. Inner bow
2. Outer bow, facebow
3. Safety strap
4. Neck strap
Headgear places pressure against the upper teeth and jaw to hold in position or to help move back into better position. Headgear usually attaches to the bands around your molars.
The outer bow of the headgear slides into the tube of the molar bands on either side. These „anchor teeth” become rather tender the first three or four nights. As soon as the teeth start to loosen and move, the tenderness goes away. Do not stop wearing the headgear because of toothache, otherwise you will have to go through the discomfort all over again when you start wearing it once more. It is important for you to wear the headgear for the number of hours specified to you. If you do not wear it for the correct number of hours, it will not be possible to complete your treatment successfully.
If necessary, mild painkillers such as the ones you would normally take for a headache, may help (please read the instructions on the packet regarding dosage).
If you have any problems with the headgear, it is loose or it comes out during the night, you should stop wearing it immediately. Telephone the practice for an appointment as soon as it is reasonably possible. Do not wait for your next scheduled appointment and make sure you bring all the parts of the headgear with you.
You will have been shown how to put the headgear on and off whilst at the surgery. The important points to remember are:
– Use only with a neck strap safety device
– Never attach elastic force until facebow ends (tips) are fully inserted into the molar tubes.
– Always unhook the elastic force prior to removing facebow. Remove the headgear before the inner bow. Never remove or fit the headgear in one piece by pulling the headgear over the face or head.
– Remove facebow prior to rough play or sports activity
– Make sure the hooks on the ends of the inner arms of the facebow are correctly engaging at the back of the molar bands.
-At night, always ensure that the safety mechanism(s) are in place to prevent accidental removal of the headgear and face bow.
-If any part of the appliance becomes detached during sleep, stop wearing the headgear and contact your orthodontist.
-Eye injury, including blindness, may result if warnings are ignored.
Types of HeadGear
There are many different kinds of headgear, but the most commonly used has a neck strap (see above) and some have straps that wrap around the top and back of your head.