Orthodontic Headgear


Orthodontic headgear earned a bad reputation in years past because patients were asked to wear it full-time (day and night). This created negative social stigmas which patients and parents did not like. In our office, headgear is rarely used. When it is prescribed, patients are instructed to wear it just at night-time or when they are home from school. This eliminates the negative social consequences. Headgear is a very important and time-proven treatment method for some patients. In some cases it can prevent the need for extraction or removal of permanent teeth. It can also greatly affect the growth and balance of the jaws and soft tissues of the face. Headgear creates forces that guide the growth of the face and jaws. It also is used to move teeth into better positions or to prevent teeth from moving.

Maintaining regular use of your headgear as prescribed will lead to the best results. If instructions on usage are not followed, treatment will take longer and your treatment plan may have to change.

  • Always be careful when removing your headgear. If the headgear is removed carelessly, the part that fits in your mouth and attaches to your teeth could injure your lips, cheeks, face and possibly your eyes.
  • Never remove the headgear until the straps have been disconnected.
  • Never lift the headgear over your face.
  • Never wear the headgear when running or playing sports.

Bring your headgear with you to every appointment. If it becomes dirty or doesn’t fit, we will adjust it or give you new pads that are clean. 

Your teeth may be tender for the first few days of wearing your headgear. This tenderness will disappear as you adjust to the new pressures. Let us know if you continue to be uncomfortable for more than a few days.