The following instructions are to be followed when starting and/or wearing headgear during orthodontic treatment. These instructions are to be followed exactly, or expected tooth movement from the headgear will not be observed, and necessary treatment progress will be delayed.
Purpose For Headgear
Our purpose in orthodontics is to make the teeth move to the proper position. Headgear is used to move front teeth back. When pulling against the back teeth, these teeth have a tendency to move forward, which can ruin the position of the back teeth. Another reason headgear is worn is to move the teeth farther back in the mouth to make the position of the back teeth as it should be.
- Getting used to your headgear.
The appliance should be placed on the teeth as you were instructed in the office. The doctors will determine how many hours are necessary to satisfy proper correction. You do not have to wear your amount of hours straight through. Start with after school then after dinner or activities. You may want to keep your times recorded until you get used to it.
- Soreness is normal when first starting your headgear.
Everyone experiences some discomfort at first just the same as when you begin exercising muscles when you are not used to it. Soreness will eventually decrease.
- Try not to take the headgear off while sleeping, but this may happen. Your body will get adjusted so this will not happen. Wearing headgear during waking hours will help you get used to it.
You should strive to wear the headgear every night, all night!
- Our requirement for most individuals, unless told otherwise, is to be successfully wearing the headgear 12-14 hours per day.
- Never go a complete 24-hour period without wearing the headgear.
For each day or wearing period that is completely missed, the progress of moving teeth is delayed by four days!
- When removing the facebow headgear, do not attempt to wiggle the facebow up and down. This can result in breakage. To remove properly, pull straight out with bow. If this is difficult, pull gently on one side of the facebow until it pops, then gently slide the other side out.
- Never attempt to adjust your headgear yourself. If you find it is difficult to place or move your headgear, please call for an appointment. Never increase the pressure of your headgear if it feels loose, allow the doctors to do any adjustments.
- Keep your headgear in the case if it’s not on your face. Keep headgear away from dogs as they will chew it up and it will cost you a replacement fee and lost time.
- 24-hour elastic wear unless otherwise instructed.
- Plan ahead. Take elastics to school, work or trips. Ask for an extra package if needed.
- If you should run out of elastics before your next appointment, call 513.777.7060 and we will mail you more.
Purpose for Rubber Bands
Intraoral elastic bands are placed on the braces to move teeth. Sometimes it is not possible to adjust only the wires in order to cause the teeth to move as they should. Intraoral elastic bands are placed specifically to move teeth in a planned direction.
How To Wear Elastic Bands
You will be given a special size of elastic bands to be placed as you have been shown in the office. Place your own elastic bands before leaving the office in case you are confused about the wearing location of the elastics. Wearing elastic bands will make your teeth SORE as they cause the teeth to move. Leave them in and the soreness will go away within a few days. Don’t try to work your way into wearing them; having them in a couple of hours here and there will result in continual soreness. Wearing your elastic bands 24 hours per day will be necessary for tooth moving to occur unless you are specifically otherwise instructed. It is also helpful to eat with the elastics in place. Be sure to replace the elastic bands one to two times per day because the elasticity is gradually lost. NEVER switch sizes of elastic bands or wear more than you have been instructed to wear. This could cause your teeth to move the wrong way and set back your orthodontic progress. Remember, good elastic wear is a major key to the removal of your braces. It is up to you!
If a hook breaks or comes loose, call us immediately so we can fix the problem. Waiting until your next appointment will delay treatment completion.
Our number one goal is to give you the best smile possible and shorten the time you must wear your braces. Cooperation in wearing your elastics as instructed will help you and us achieve this goal!