One of the most common problems orthodontists treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. This condition may due to a small lower jaw that is further back than it should be. A Herbst can be used to treat this skeletal discrepancy.
It is often necessary to expand the upper jaw while the lower jaw moves forward. These two movements can be done simultaneously by combining the Herbst Appliance with a Rapid Palatal Expander. Some Herbsts include a Rapid Palatal Expander and some do not.
A Herbst Appliance postures the lower jaw forward gently with a free sliding mechanism. Even thought the Herbst Appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movements still occur easily and patients do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.
We find it can take a full week to fully adjust to this appliance. Warm salt-water rinses are soothing and help to minimize sores inside your cheeks. Orthodontic relief wax may be placed in areas that rub for comfort.
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 Popsicles will freeze the cement and make the appliance loosen. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and taffy will pull that appliance away from the teeth. Hard foods may also bend or loosen the Herbst Appliance. So please stay away from these foods during your orthodontic treatment.