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Growing Confident Smiles

Herbst Appliance

 

Aside from the obvious benefits of orthodontic treatment, like increased confidence and ease of hygiene, another benefit is not so obvious: improved jaw function. If your child has an overbite, simple treatment with braces will not correct the problem. The Herbst appliance, usually in conjunction with braces, is used to help the lower jaw develop in a forward direction. This eventually leads to an ideal bite. Left untreated, an improper bite may threaten the long-term health of your child's teeth, gums, and jaw.

A Herbst appliance is fixed to your child's molars. It includes a metal tube that connects the upper and lower jaw. By adjusting the tube, your orthodontist is able to control the jaw's position in relation to the upper teeth. Typical treatment time with a Herbst appliance is 12 months, though this may vary depending on your child's unique needs.

Herbst vs. Headgear

Compliance

The main difference between a Herbst appliance and headgear is that the Herbst appliance is securely fastened to your child's teeth, while headgear is removable. To be truly effective, headgear must be worn between 12 and 16 hours per day, which often poses a problem with patients who don't like to keep it on that long. Since the Herbst appliance is not removable, you won't need to keep track of how many hours per day your child wears it.

Aesthetic

Another difference is aesthetics. Headgear is bulky, made of metal hooks or a facebow, and straps or a head cap to anchor the headgear to the back of the head or neck. A Herbst appliance is a much more discreet option: it may be visible when your child laughs or speaks, but it is far less obtrusive than headgear.

Adjusting to a Herbst Appliance

Muscle Tenderness – When your child first gets his or her Herbst appliance, there may be some overall muscle tenderness and soreness of the teeth. As your child's mouth adapts to the appliance, the soreness should fade.

Tissue Irritation – Because the Herbst appliance is metal, it may cause some slight tissue irritation, especially on the lower gums. It will take time for your child's mouth to adapt. Until it does, dental wax can help to ease the irritation.

Diet – Eating softer food will help with any muscle soreness, especially after the first week or two after getting the appliance. It is also important to eliminate sticky foods, like candy and gum, or hard, crunchy food, which can damage the appliance and lengthen treatment time.

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In my mid 30s, getting braces seemed like a difficult decision. After my consultation with Dr. Todd, I felt very confident that I made the right choice. The staff was very friendly, they have very flexible scheduling for appointments, and I was treated like an adult. Dr. Todd exceeded my expectations. I love my new smile and would recommend them to anyone.
- Zach
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Everyone at Rasch Orthodontics is so nice. I feel very comfortable there. Dr. Rasch always has fun colors to choose from when I have my braces adjusted. They are also very gentle when they work in my mouth. I can see so much improvement, and if you go there I bet you will too!!!
- Mallory
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We have been very pleased with our decision to have our son's orthodontic needs cared for by Dr. Rasch. Upon meeting Dr. Rasch, it was apparent that he was an expert in the field of orthodontics...
We were so pleased with the results, our younger son is now also starting his orthodontic journey with Dr. Rasch. We can't wait to see the results!
- Rita, Mother of Sal
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We couldn't be happier with Dr. Rasch...so nice, so fun, so thoughtful!
- Brynne
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We interviewed several orthodontists in the area. We chose Dr. Rasch and the plan of treatment he suggested because the timeline of care was efficient, the goal was clear and concise, and, most importantly, our daughter had an immediate level of comfort with him as a person…
- Mother of Cassidy