Now that you have been provided with headgear, you may have some questions you would like answered.
Should I wear headgear all the time?
No. Headgear is meant to be worn part-time. You will have been instructed to wear headgear for anywhere between 8 and 14 hours. It is important to follow the recommended wear time; otherwise, your treatment will take longer. Remember, if when you remove headgear, put it in a safe place.
Headgear should not be worn when you are playing with family or friends or taking part in any sports. Ideally, you should wear headgear when you are at home and unlikely to be taking part in anything active. For example, you can wear it when you are watching television, reading a book or using a computer. The other ideal time of course is when you are sleeping.
What should I expect in the first week?
Your teeth will start to feel tender once you start wearing headgear and this is normal. This will pass after a few days of wear. The teeth may also feel a little loose and this will get better too. Patients do not usually need to take any painkillers but if you feel that this is necessary for you, the normal painkillers you take for pain control should be used (always follow the instructions on the packet).
Part of the metal facebow can rub on you cheek and make it sore. If this happens, you should contact the practice.
Do I wear headgear for eating and drinking?
No, headgear should always be removed for eating and drinking.
How do I clean headgear?
Headgear should be removed for cleaning. The only part of headgear that will need to be brushed will be the facebow which sits inside your mouth. This can be cleaned after you remove the headgear with a toothbrush.
Do I clean my teeth any differently?
With headgear, you usually have a removable or fixed brace so the instructions for cleaning a removable or fixed brace should be followed.
How often will I need to be seen by the orthodontist?
You will need to be reviewed every 6 to 8 weeks as the headgear will need to be adjusted. We also need to check that you treatment is progressing as planned. You should bring all the components of your headgear with you at each visit.
Should I still see my regular dentist?
Yes. The orthodontist will be addressing the orthodontic issues in your mouth so it is important to see your regular dentist at the normal intervals.
Are there any risks to headgear treatment?
As with all types of treatment, there are always risks. The greatest risk with headgear is injury. This is most likely to occur if the headgear is not placed properly or if it is worn while playing or engaging in sports.
You should always place and remove the headgear in the correct sequence as you have been shown. Never try to pull it out or adjust it yourself. You should also not let others attempt to adjust the headgear.
Headgear should not be worn when you are playing with family or friends or taking part in any sports. Ideally, you should wear headgear when you are at home and unlikely to be taking part in anything active. For example, you can wear it when you are watching television, reading a book or using a computer.
If your headgear comes loose or apart when you are asleep you should always place all components of your headgear outside of the bed. Contact the practice for advice if this is happening.
If part of the headgear goes into the eye, you should contact the orthodontist immediately and if they are not available, you should seek medical help. Even if you think no damage to the eye has been done, you must still contact the orthodontist or seek medical help.
How long will treatment with headgear take?
Treatment duration varies from around 6 to 12 months depending on the changes desired.
What should I do if something happens to the headgear?
If the brace breaks or distorts, or you lose it, you should contact the practice as soon as is reasonably possible. You should not wait until your next routine appointment.