Thanks to advancements in orthodontics, even the most misaligned smile can become straight and even. The key is using the right options to correct the specific issues that are getting in the way of a beautiful smile. And in some cases, that means using headgear. That’s particularly true for kids.
Our team at Fresh Dental Care analyzes your child’s unique smile to create a personalized orthodontics plan. From our five offices in the Houston area, we can correct even severely misaligned teeth and bite problems. Plus, with our specialization in pediatric dentistry, we can ensure that if your child needs braces and headgear, the process is as comfortable as possible for them and convenient for you.
When might your child need headgear, and why is this something we generally only recommend for pediatric patients? We explain that in this blog.
Headgear for kids
Headgear — an orthodontic appliance that straps to the head — can be a useful tool when a child’s jaw is still developing. With it, our team can exert force on the jaw to correct bite alignment issues.
In other words, we usually recommend headgear when a child’s upper and lower teeth don’t meet together the way they should. We can use it to correct:
- Severe overbite
If you’ve noticed that your child’s bite seems misaligned, don’t wait to bring them to our office nearest you. Headgear only works while your child is still growing. Once their jaw is fully developed, they may need jaw surgery to fix the issue you can correct with headgear now.
If your child’s teeth are crowded, we can also use headgear to create more space to help them move into alignment.
What to expect with headgear
When your child first gets headgear, they will probably feel some soreness. We can help you choose the right over-the-counter pain medication to give them if they feel really uncomfortable. Cold and soft foods can also help. This discomfort should go away within a few days.
Usually, your child needs to wear the headgear for about 12 hours a day. That means they’ll sleep in it and will probably need to put it on right when they get home from after-school activities. Work to normalize this for them. They might need to wear it around their friends at some point, and you don’t want them to feel embarrassed.
Most kids finish headgear treatment within a year or two. Your child won’t be in this situation forever, and it’s a much more manageable way to correct a jaw misalignment than surgery.
If you’ve noticed that your child has crowded teeth or a misaligned bite, putting them in headgear now may prevent the need for surgery later. To learn more, book an appointment with Fresh Dental Care today.