Headgear is a broad term for orthodontic appliances that strap around the head to exert
pressure from outside the patient’s mouth. Although not every child or adult who has braces
will need headgear, headgear is important for certain cases and has its benefits.
What are the benefits of needing orthodontic headgear? Here’s how these appliances can help
many patients have their best smile!
Exert Additional Force
Orthodontic headgear provides additional force needed to move your teeth into their correct
positions. In many cases, the back molars will provide the proper support to move these teeth,
but in others, they won’t suffice.
Headgear relies on a strap that goes behind the neck or head that helps apply extra pressure
and move the teeth faster and into more accurate positions. In some cases, headgear can also
influence facial structure, making it important in cases where a severe overbite or underbite are
affecting facial development in children.
Orthodontic headgear does not need to be worn all day every day. In many cases, it’s rare that
your orthodontist would recommend it to be worn for more than 12-14 hours a day. Wearing
headgear for a limited amount of time is still effective for moving the teeth.
One of the major benefits of headgear is that it’s not only ideal for certain orthodontic cases, it
can also speed up treatment time in cases that might otherwise be complex and time-
consuming to treat. The additional force helps to move teeth in a shorter period of time so
treatment time may be faster!
Necessary for Some Cases
Orthodontists only use headgear when it’s necessary. This might be for cases where the front
teeth need to be moved forward instead of back, or closing a large gap that would otherwise
cause the back teeth to move forward with traditional orthodontic treatment.
Headgear is often necessary in cases where severe overbites or underbites are impeding the smile. Your orthodontist might also suggest headgear for your child in cases where the jaw is not developing correctly since it can help facilitate proper facial development.
Orthodontic headgear won’t be necessary for all cases of orthodontics, but both children and
adults can benefit from headgear in certain cases. If you need headgear, don’t stress. You won’t
need to wear it all day, just when you’re at home or asleep, and your treatment will be over
before you know it. Your orthodontist will let you know if you need to consider headgear to
perfect your smile or your child’s smile!