Avatar universal

Teenage daughter has to get braces and headgear

Our 15 year old daughter is going to be starting her orthodontic treatment soon. We were at the doctor taking the moulds and X-rays last month and we were now getting updated in the treatment plan and the orthodontist told her the different steps and phase, with getting braces, etc the two things that came as  surprise as i admit we not know a lot about orthodontic stuff was that  she  would need to wear elastic bands in her mouth for most if her treatment period...i looked this up and it seems common but she was not that happy about how they would look and feel, and even I felt a bit strange. Second which seemed less common was the need after her braces are fitted she would get something called a headgear. To be honest, when i saw the picture she was shown, i was needed to her in the chair I felt very uneasy. I kept a brave face asking all the right questions but i could see poor child, her eyes were glassy and wanted to cry. She was shown a metal object called Facebow that would be inserted into her mouth and held in place with bands and tubes on her back upper teeth. Thus would be for 14 to 16 hours a day. The bow would then curve around and protrude from her mouth and be hooked to these straps with elastic bands. The straps would go over the top of her head and around her neck. We were given an example Facebow to hold but i could see she was very uneasy and i know this may sound stupid but we did not even want to hold it, let alone have it worn in her mouth... She has been very withdrawn over the last week, and we go next week to start with her braces fitting. I tried to talk to her about it but it came out all wrong but i can see how worried she is about this and how it will feel, her self conscious , her friends, boys, etc. perhaps we just not good with this stuff but as a teenage it does not seem very pleasant ...please can anyone help ...
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4851940 tn?1515694593
I have looked at the Facebow on the web and it does look rather frightening.  So I have every sympathy for your daughter if she needs to wear this to correct her bite.

I presume that she has an under bite called Class III.  
Have you asked the dentist if there is an alternative to her wearing this headgear?  I presume that she would only need to wear it when she came home from school and whilst she was asleep or is it something that she has to be wearing during the day too?

If she has a very severe under bite, wearing this headgear to correct this while she is growing will be worth it in the long run.  Class III under bite can cause problems like sore tongue due to rubbing on the teeth.  She will also feel more self conscious about her bottom jaw protruding forward as she gets older.  

As both you and your daughter were shocked and horrified about the headgear, you should speak with the dentist about your concerns and fears and for him to explain the short term inconvenience and discomfort compared to long term effects.

Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Hi Jemma, thank you for your update and input. You have prompted me to investigate further. Yes I'm checking the treatment plan, it notes a Class II, this is an over bite and it seems the Facebow will be used to pull the upper teeth, jaw back. I wish i could show you the photos we were shown...get a copy and mail it to you, it was, as you said almost a bit horrific in a way... but  although the doctor was very helpful and explained how it worked, that it would not be sore for more than a few days, she would get used to it etc ...but in the end she will be the one walking out with it strapped to her head. We did look at options but as you asked but this is really the correct one.

On the wear ... the plan calls for min 16 hours a day, but 16 is what we should aim for....this seemed fine as she was told to wear it at night, and evenings ...ie out of public eye, but in reality, school starting at 7:30 am, we up at 5:30, so putting it on after supper at 7:30 pm at night, you only getting 10 hours, and even with just 1 hour gap to 6:30 pm,  4 hours takes it well into afternoon to be worn  ... ie starting  at 2:30 pm is then a reality which is right after school...but most afternoons are at school with extra murals and sports, and she can't play in it, do it means taking it off, on, off again and this  is not as easy as putting in a hat it seems, and all her school and friends will see her with it in any event....so I'm thinking ...
Anyway, what do you think ...but would it not be better to not try a"hide" from it or with it on, and just to wear it to class, this will give her 6 hours uninterrupted  wear, she then takes it off at school end, has her afternoon free then on again after supper, home work etc after this then bed... Once all her friends see it...perhaps its better this way?
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