The head brace is one of the best appliances to help correct a recessive lower jaw, if worn well. It works by limiting the growth of the upper jaw so that the lower jaw can catch up over time. This appliance has limited side effects and is usually used for the same period as the Herbst appliance, usually just before the growth spurt. However, it is removable and requires between 12 and 16 hours of use to be effective.
In most cases, compliance with this device is poor, which means that patients do not always use it well. Because the Herbst appliance is not removable, it has better clinical efficacy than the Headgear appliance. Today's orthodontic science has a wealth of cutting-edge tools for repositioning, reshaping and realigning teeth and jaws. The truth is that braces may be part of the solution to correcting a weak chin, but each patient is unique.
There are certain physiological indicators that orthodontists are trained to notice both in the physical development of their patients and in x-rays that give us clues as to when a patient will go through their final growth spurt. One of the best things a parent can do is to take their child early for an orthodontic evaluation to resolve problems related to jaw growth and tooth eruption in time. Today's orthodontic science offers the opportunity to precisely adapt the approach to treatment to the unique needs of each patient. However, if the chin recoil is related to orthodontic problems, such as an open bite or an overbite, you may be able to treat it with a retainer or braces.
The good news is that if a patient is seen well in advance, orthodontists can help modify jaw growth to avoid complicated and invasive surgical procedures in the future. As orthodontic technology continues to advance, more people of all ages seek treatment to achieve their appearance goals. You have options that include orthodontics and orthognathic surgery, and both approaches can be combined to improve oral health and facial appearance at the same time. Your orthodontist will need to determine if the problem is dental, which originates in your teeth, or if it is skeletal, which originates in your bones.
The American Orthodontist Association recommends that children visit the orthodontist for the first time before age 7.We often use braces (devices that aid growth) instead of orthodontic appliances (devices that move teeth) when a patient's lower jaw has not grown sufficiently. The best way to determine what is causing the appearance of a weak chin in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood is to schedule a consultation with a trusted orthodontist. Early identification of these problems allows the orthodontist to recommend braces and other corrective measures as needed to ensure proportionate and healthy jaw growth for a balanced profile and smile. Sometimes, using orthodontic treatment and orthognathic surgery together is the best approach to providing a healthy, straight smile and an even chin appearance.
For some adult patients, a combined approach, such as orthodontic care through braces or aligners plus orthognathic (jaw) surgery or cosmetic surgery in the jaw area, may be necessary to fully achieve the patient profile aspect and oral health goals.
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