Herbst Appliance

One of the most common problems orthodontists treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. This happens because the lower jaw is small and further back than it should be. With these patients, we can encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, by using the Herbst appliance.

Although the Herbst appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movement still occur easily. Patients do not have any difficulty chewing their food with their lower jaw in this new position.

As with all kinds of braces, patients with Herbst appliances need to be careful about what they eat. For instance, cold foods such as ice slushes, Popsicles and ice will freeze the cement and make the brace loosen. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and candy suckers will pull the brace away from the teeth. Hard foods like crisp vegetables and hard candies will bend and loosen the Herbst appliance, too. So stay away from these foods during your orthodontic treatment.

Your Herbst appliance will be checked and adjusted at each appointment. If, sometimes between appointments, you develop some sore areas on the inside of your cheeks, please do not try to adjust the appliance yourself. Call for an appointment so that the necessary adjustments can be made.

Wearing a Herbst Appliance

At first, your mouth will feel unusually full and speaking will be awkward. But if you practice reading aloud, your ordinary speech will return quickly. You may also notice more saliva than normal, but this will decrease as you become accustomed to the appliance.