The purpose of headgear

As part of your orthodontic treatment, Dr. Fritz prescribed headgear to be worn. Dr. Fritz usually recommends headgear when the top jaw is too far in front of the lower jaw. Headgear is used for two purposes. First, headgear can slow down the growth of the top jaw so that the lower jaw can “catch up” in growth. Second, headgear can move the top teeth back so they will fit better with the lower teeth.

Putting on your headgear

When hooking up your headgear, remember that the loops on the facebow (the stainless steel part of your headgear) point upwards. Slide one side into the molar tube first, then the other. While holding the facebow with one hand, hook up your strap to the mark indicated by Dr. Fritz.

Removing your headgear

When removing your headgear facebow, remember not to pull both sides out at once. This will usually bend the facebow and will make it difficult to place it in the molar tubes the next day. Also, do not rock the facebow up and down when removing it. This can loosen the bands. If a band becomes loose, call the office as soon as possible to schedule a repair.

Amount of time headgear needs to be worn

Headgear should be worn 12-14 hours per day! This is often difficult to achieve but necessary for the headgear to work properly. At first, you may “build-up” time by wearing the headgear for shorter intervals. You may also loosen the notch on both sides for a limited time. When you first begin wearing headgear, your molar teeth may become sore. This is normal. As you become accustomed to your headgear, you will notice that teeth will not be as nearly as sore as they were at first.

Most importantly, headgear should be worn every day! Inconsistent headgear wear is like not wearing headgear at all. For each day of headgear wear missed, the progress of moving teeth is delayed by four days! Never attempt to adjust your headgear yourself. If you have trouble fitting your headgear, please call our office for an appointment.