If you have an overbite, treatment with braces alone will not correct the problem entirely. The Herbst appliance, which is typically used along with braces, can help the lower jaw develop in a forward direction. If left untreated, an improper bite can impact the long-term health of your teeth, gums, and jaw structure.
A Herbst appliance is fixed to your molars. It includes a metal tube that connects the upper and lower jaw. By adjusting the tube, Dr. DeSantis can control the jaw position in relation to the upper teeth. Typically, treatment lasts 12 months, though your duration may vary depending on your specific needs.
Adjusting to a Herbst Appliance
Muscle Tenderness – When you begin treatment with a Herbst appliance, you may notice some overall muscle tenderness and soreness of the teeth. As your mouth adapts to the treatment, the soreness should subside.
Tissue Irritation – Because the Herbst appliance is metal, it may cause some slight tissue irritation, particularly on your lower gums. It will take time for your mouth to adjust. Dental wax can help to ease any irritation you may have, especially during the first week.
Diet – A diet of softer foods will help with muscle soreness, especially during your first week or two of treatment. It is also crucial that you avoid sticky foods, including gum and candy, or hard, crunch foods, which can cause damage to the appliance and increase your treatment time.