Orthodontic headgear – how it benefits patients

Any orthodontic treatment is only successful when you invest a significant amount of time, effort, and money. Before signing up for a treatment procedure it is also obvious for patients to ask about the other available treatment options. One of the reliable procedures to correct a range of orthodontic issues is headgear but a large number of people are unaware of how this works. In the following sections of the blog post let us explore the role and responsibility that headgear plays to correct different orthodontic problems.

  • What is Headgear exactly?

Headgear is a removable appliance relied upon by orthodontists in correcting a range of issues. The appliance is attached to the braces using elastic bands. But the obvious question that may pop up is why this is called headgear. This removable appliance usually comes with a strap that goes around the back of the head. A metal wire goes out from the strap and is attached to the front of your mouth connecting your braces. It is because of this reason that dentists prefer calling this removable orthodontic appliance headgear.

  • How does a headgear work?

The headgear exerts gentle pressure on your teeth and the jawbone and this is how it corrects a range of orthodontic problems in patients. The typical orthodontic issues that this removable appliance can correct include overbite, underbite, and crossbite.

  • How popular or reliable headgear is this in the present-day scenario?

 Headgear has been a tried and tested appliance in orthodontic dentistry for more than a century. In the bygone eras, this removable appliance was much relied upon to cure a range of issues related to misalignment of the teeth and the jaws. But, with the evolution of clear aligner systems and other modern ranges of appliances, a large number of patients do not prefer the orthodontic headgear for obvious reasons.

In this situation the use of headgear has diminished in recent times unlike in the past but still, it is considered a reliable and effective treatment option in a variety of cases related to orthodontic dentistry explains a leading orthodontic expert based in London. Before recommending headgear to a patient, orthodontists consider several factors like the age of a patient, the extent of complexity involved in the case, as well as both long-term and short-term goals of the treatment to ensure whether this removable appliance will be suitable or not.

  • Usually how long headgear is to be worn?

Normally you wear headgear for a few hours daily although your dentist may even recommend wearing it throughout the night while asleep. Depending on the level of complexity involved in your orthodontic problem you may have to wear it for a few months to a few years at a stretch. It is important to discuss a few things that are relevant to the current context. The length of time for which a patient has to be on headgear depends on certain factors which include the following –

  • The age of a patient
  • The level of complexity involved and
  • The level of compliance maintained in wearing the appliance as directed by the dentist

Patients who comply with the instructions from their dentists regarding wearing headgear are more likely to achieve their desired or expected results in much shorter time lengths.

  • Headgear versus braces – which one is more suitable

Both headgear and conventional metal braces have proven track records of correcting orthodontic problems. It is important to remember that these two distinct varieties of orthodontic appliances work in different approaches. Braces exert gentle pressure on your teeth through wires and brackets and this is how the teeth gradually but steadily sink into correct alignment. In contrast to that headgear relies on an external device to exert pressure on the back of your teeth and the jaw. Gradually the teeth and the jaw buckle under the pressure and come into correct alignment. According to an orthodontic expert in London having years of experience in treating patients with a head brace for the teeth explains that these orthodontic procedures have their benefits and disadvantages. Braces offer discretion and thus this procedure is ideal for those who are a little overcautious about their orthodontic appliances. Headgear – on the other hand –proves a better option in some specific cases especially the ones that involve positioning of the jaws.

Your dentist or orthodontist is the best person to recommend the best option between headgear and conventional braces. The choice between these two distinct orthodontic treatment approaches is usually guided by several factors the exact orthodontic problem a patient has, specific treatment goals, and others.

  • Is headgear the universal solution to every overbite issue?

Overbite is an orthodontic condition in which the front teeth in the upper row protrude over the teeth in the front lower row. Headgear can correct an overbite but that depends on several clauses like the age of a patient, the level of complexity involved, and the level of compliance a patient maintains with the instructions of the dentist. In a large number of these cases, only braces alone can conveniently correct the overbite problem. But there are also cases, in which a combination of braces and headgear is necessary to overcome the problem of overbite explains a busy orthodontist who relies on orthodontic headgear to treat patients. Let your dentist or orthodontist assess your overall situation and come up with the best possible plan for your treatment.  

  • Is there any flip side of headgear?

Headgear is a tried and tested means to correct orthodontic issues but it may hurt certain individuals. Negative effects of this orthodontic treatment approach include soreness, discomfort, difficulty in sleeping, and suffering from self-consciousness resulting from one’s changed appearance. To minimize all these side effects, it is important to follow the instructions of your treatment provider at 1A Orthodontics in London. It may even be necessary to adjust the headgear from time to time to ease all the side effects. When you are on an orthodontist head gear it is important to maintain sound oral hygiene day in and day out. It is also better to stay away from certain foods to avoid any damage to the appliance.

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