Head gear appliance is used to gain space or arch length for the upper teeth and to correct the malocclusion by shifting the molar teeth back. It is used most in patients that are still actively growing and often in conjunction with “braces.” The head gear is simply a strong wire inserted into the tubes of molar bands which exerts pressure on the molars moving them back to gain needed space.
1. Start wearing the head gear slowly: ( ½ hour the 1st day, 1 hour the 2nd day), doubling the wear time daily thereafter until the desired total of 12 hours a day has been achieved.
2. The 12 hours daily can be cumulative during the day. They do not need to be consecutive. Wearing the head gear more than 12 hours a day will help the appliance work faster.
3. Wear your head gear during quiet, non-active times. Examples: home work, reading, watching TV, sleeping, playing video games.
4. The head gear should NEVER be worn during these activities: Riding in a car, Playing sports, Rough housing with friends, anything active that could cause injury.
5. The neck strap for your head gear should always be worn on the 3rd hole. Do not adjust the neck strap unless directed by the doctor.
6. Patients occasionally experience tooth sensitivity while wearing the head gear. This is normal and usually subsides in a week. Treat any soreness with an over-the-counter pain medication. If severe pain occurs, phone our office.
7. Sores from the band tubes rubbing against the cheeks, or from the wire rubbing against the lips may occur. Sores from the bands can be treated by using warm salt water rinses (1tsp per 8oz water) twice daily and placing wax over the offending band tube. Lip sores can be avoided by having the patient use Chapstick or a lubricant on lips before inserting the head gear. Any severe sores should be brought to our attention.
8. Never pull up or down on your head gear as this could break the band cement causing a band to come loose. If the band feels/comes loose, STOP wearing the head gear and contact our office during normal business hours to have the band re-cemented. Bring the head gear to be adjusted if necessary.
9. ALWAYS bring your head gear to appointments. It is important for the doctor to check and adjust the appliance.
10. ALWAYS store your head gear in the case provided when it is out of your mouth. There is a fee to replace a lost or broken head gear.
11. Keep the head gear and bands clean. You can use a wash cloth to wipe off the face bow (the hard wire part). The cushioned neck strap can be hand washed only. Keep your bands clean by brushing them after every meal.
12. Any questions regarding your head gear should be directed to our orthodontic staff.
(1) Insert one end of the wire face bow into the tube of the molar band.
(2) Slide the wire straight back until you feel it stops.
(3) Line the other side of the face bow wire as done in step (1). You may need to apply some inward pressure to the wire to make it slide in easier.
(4) Once both sides of the face bow are in the tubes, have the patient hold the center of the facebow and place the neck strap on. Make sure you are using the 3rd hole on each side. (**It is extremely important that the face bow is held securely so the spring tension of the neck strap does not pull it out and cause injury.)
(1) While holding the face bow securely in the center, remove the neck strap from one side.
(2) Pull the face bow straight out of the molar tubes. Do not angle it up or down as this will break the cement seal.
(3) Clean off face bow and place into case.
1) Do not eat with the head gear on. Remove it for eating. Hard, crunchy, sticky, chewy foods should be avoided since these can break the cement seal on the molar bands.
2) Do not pull on the face bow while wearing as this could cause injury. If enough pressure is applied incorrectly to the face bow, the tension modules on the side will disengage. Simply remove the neck strap and reattach the tension modules to the clips.
3) Do not force your head gear face bow into molar band tubes. Contact the office during regular hours to be checked.
4) Do not try to angle the face bow wire into the tubes. It will only go in when lined up straight.
5) NEVER PLAY WITH THE HEAD GEAR IN!!