WHAT IT DOES:
Headgear is designed to move your molar teeth back so you can make room for the rest of your teeth in your mouth.
The headgear is to be worn 16 hours per day. That means, if you sleep eight hours at night you only need to wear it eight hours while you are awake; sleeping time counts.
Be sure to keep track of your time on the card we gave you to be certain you are getting the full 16 hours every day.
Your molars will not begin to move until you reach the 12-hour mark. Between 12 and 16 hours is when you will be getting the most movement.
HOW TO INSERT YOUR HEADGEAR:
Look in the back of your mouth at the big tubes on your upper molars. The headgear goes into those big tubes. It will only go in as far as the bend. Put one side in first, then press the inside bow slightly to get the other side in. Then push both sides in all the way back.
The pad has already been adjusted for you, so DO NOT CHANGE THE SETTING.
Hook one side first. To hook the other side, HOLD BOW INTO FACE AS YOU ARE HOOKING! This is very important because if the bow is not held securely in the front, it can pull out of your mouth.
HOW TO REMOVE YOUR HEADGEAR:
To remove the headgear pad, press the bow toward your face and remove one side, then the other side, releasing gently.
To remove the bow, NEVER TAKE HOLD OF THE OUTSIDE BOW. That part can become distorted if removed that way. It is important to remove it gently so you do not loosen your bands. Take hold with two hands on the loops on the INNER BOW next to the molars. Press in gently towards teeth and pull straight forward. IF THE HEADGEAR DOES NOT COME OUT RIGHT AWAY, RELEASE TOTALLY AND GO BACK AND START AGAIN. You may need to do this several times until the headgear comes out. NEVER YANK ON THE HEADGEAR.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
The first three days will be most difficult for you because your teeth will be sore as they are not yet accustomed to the headgear. Take an analgesic (Tylenol or Ibuprofen) until the soreness goes away and you can wear the headgear comfortably — usually three to five days.
Wear your headgear as close to 16 hours in a row on those first three days until you get used to it. You can alternate your time during the day, but be sure to keep track of your time to be sure you are getting the full 16 hours.
It might be easier to get used to wearing the headgear at night if you put it on an hour before bedtime.
CARING OF YOUR HEADGEAR:
Your headgear pad may occasionally be washed in warm sudsy water and left to dry. If it does become soiled, just ask us for a new one.
Never play rough while wearing your headgear.
If you feel your headgear is crooked or bent, call the office to schedule an appointment so we can adjust it for you.
If you want to spend the night at a friend’s house and don’t want to wear your headgear, then you can make the time up the following day or on the weekend. TRY NOT TO DO THAT TOO OFTEN.
Keep it in the case and bring it with you for each visit so the doctor can adjust it for you. IF THERE IS ANY REASON THAT YOU ARE UNABLE TO WEAR YOUR HEADGEAR, GIVE THE OFFICE A CALL AND SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT.