Different things they put on braces for overbites

Written by megan allyce snider
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Different things they put on braces for overbites
Braces are a good way to correct an overbite (Valery Sheyko/iStock/Getty Images)

Braces may be necessary to correct an overbite. Aside from braces, there are also many different appliances and pieces of gear that may be used in conjunction with braces to fix an overbite faster and close the gap between the teeth. These appliances must be worn regularly to improve the status of the overbite and the effectiveness of the braces.

The Herbst Appliance

The Herbst Appliance treats an overbite by using a tube and rod mechanism to put pressure on the lower jaw to help it grow forward, while the upper teeth are pulled in and backward so that the teeth align. It is attached to the back molars on both sides of the upper and lower jaws. It does not interfere with the opening and closing of the mouth, so patients are able to eat. It is usually worn for about twelve months. Tenderness and soreness to the checks and jaw could occur. The rod and tube may become disconnected if the mouth is opened too wide. The rod will slide back into the tube if the patient opens his mouth again. The patient should avoid popcorn, sticky and hard candies, ice, gum and nuts because these foods may get stuck in the device and interfere with its performance.

Elastics or rubber bands

Rubber bands are small, plastic and circular. They hook onto points on the upper and lower braces, pulling the bottom jaw forward, while putting pressure onto the top braces to pull the upper teeth backward. They may be only worn at night or they may be worn all day and night long. People may have to change them two to three times a day to make sure they add enough pressure to the teeth. They help make teeth straighter and stronger. If they are not worn consistently, there will be a lag in treatment and improvements will not be seen.


Headgear is used to treat overbites by holding back the growth of the upper jaw, allowing the lower jaw to move forward and become aligned with the upper jaw. Headgear should be worn about 10 to 14 hours daily to be effective. Treatment may occur over the course of 6 to 18 months according to the severity of the overbite. Soreness of the teeth while chewing or when the teeth touch is common. The gums may also be sore. Usually the soreness reaches its peak in about two to three days. Taking medicines such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen may help.

The Wilson Appliance

The Wilson Appliance is used in conjunction with braces to treat an overbite. It is placed inside the mouth, on the backside of the teeth. It is worn with elastics or rubber bands. It can help cure overbites even before braces are put on, ensuring that the patient does not have to wear braces for a long period of time. It may also be used with braces. There are several different types of Wilson appliances that may be used.


Appliances and headgear are excellent tools in correcting overbites when used with braces. Using them regularly is necessary to ensure quick and adequate correction of an overbite. New gear and appliances are constantly being added to bolster the effectiveness of braces. While pain may be a factor in wearing braces, appliances and headgear, it should subside with time or become tolerable. Abstaining from certain foods may also seem extreme, but there are many foods that can affect appliances, braces and headgear and may even ruin them. The goal is to have straight teeth that are aligned correctly. Braces, appliances and headgear can help you meet this goal.

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