The Herbst appliance is one of the most effective tools for realigning the jaw and teeth. At Mary Kay Becher Orthodontics, we use the Herbst appliance to move the upper and lower jaw into harmonious positions. Our orthodontic team — led by Dr. Mary Kay Becher and Dr. Avery Gil — is here to find the right treatment for you while ensuring a comfortable patient experience. Visit our office in Austin, Texas, to see if a Herbst appliance is right for you.
What Is a Herbst Appliance?
The Herbst appliance is an orthodontic mechanism that adjusts the mouth’s alignment to achieve a straighter smile. The Herbst appliance is a comfortable alternative to headgear and has a minimal impact on the mouth’s mobility. The appliance fuses to the teeth to apply constant pressure that shifts the upper and lower jaws into place. Dr. Becher and Dr. Gil use the Herbst appliance to treat a protruding upper jaw or retruding lower jaw.
How Does the Herbst Appliance Work?
The Herbst appliance achieves harmony between the upper and lower jaw by applying constant pressure on the top and bottom of the mouth. The pressure moves the upper jaw and upper teeth backward while moving the lower jaw and lower teeth forward.
The Herbst appliance features two key components that combine to move the jaw — metal caps covering the second-to-last molar in each corner of the mouth and metal arms connecting the upper and lower caps on each side. In some cases, a Herbst appliance will also include an expander that lines the inside of the upper teeth for outward pressure. The expander creates room for the upper teeth to accept the lower teeth when closing the mouth.
Will My Child Need a Herbst Appliance?
Your child should use a Herbst appliance if they start to develop an overbite. Starting Herbst appliance treatment as young as the age of eight or nine can help them reduce the need for future treatment or eliminate it entirely. Treating the jaw while it’s developing guides its growth.
How Long Will the Herbst Appliance Be Worn?
The Herbst appliance can realign the jaw in 9-12 months. You may notice that the jaw is visibly straighter prior to the end of the treatment, but it’s important to keep the appliance in place for the full term. Leaving the appliance in allows it to solidify the jaw’s new position. Ending treatment early can allow the upper and lower jaws to revert back to their original positions.
Caring for Herbst Appliances
Caring for the Herbst appliance is as easy as brushing and flossing regularly — but be sure to give some extra attention to the gaps between the metal bars and your gums. We also recommend a daily fluoride rinse for the duration of your treatment. You can maintain most of your usual diet while wearing the Herbst appliance — just avoid hard or sticky foods.
Why Mary Kay Becher Orthodontics?
Mary Kay Becher Orthodontics is a premier Herbst appliance provider in Austin, Texas. We have a team of experienced and innovative orthodontists along with welcoming office staff. Our compassionate orthodontic experts will work closely with you to determine the best treatment for your situation and provide the support you need to achieve amazing results.
To get started with Mary Kay Becher Orthodontics, please call us or contact us online to request an appointment!