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Herbst ApplianceWhen most people think about orthodontics, they tend to only think about straight teeth. But orthodontics also plays a big role in jaw function and facial appearance. The Herbst appliance, which is usually used with braces, is intended to help move the lower jaw or teeth forward.

This will aid in correction of the overbite. An improper bite may cause unhealthy teeth and gums, and a host of other problems.

How does the appliance work?

A Herbst appliance is usually fixed to the upper and lower molars where a metal tube then connects the lower and upper teeth and jaws. The orthodontist will then adjust the tube to control the jaw’s position and tooth movement. Most people use a Herbst appliance for about a year, though this may vary depending on your child’s unique needs.

How will the Herbst appliance affect daily life and activities?

The appliance commonly requires an adjustment period and can cause temporary soreness of the teeth and gums.  Dental wax can be a great way to ease some of the discomfort associated with the Herbst appliance and good oral hygiene practices maintain healthy teeth and gums.

A diet of softer food is temporarily recommended, and it is highly encouraged that you avoid hard, sticky or crunchy foods with the appliance as this can cause damage to the appliance.

Your orthodontist will determine if you can benefit from and if you are a candidate for the Herbst appliance. As part of an orthodontic treatment plan, the Herbst appliance can help align your jaw and correct your bite.