The Herbst is an appliance that pushes the lower jaw forward, and being in this position stimulates its growth and development. We use this appliance when the patient is still growing. If the appliance does not work for lack of cooperation, the overbite may need to be corrected at a later age with orthognathic surgery.
We recommend wearing the Herbst for approximately 8-12 months. It is going to take a few weeks to get adjusted so please be patient. Be careful with your appliance, and don’t play with your tongue and fingers, because you could damage it. Avoid excessively opening your mouth and moving your lower jaw sideways because you can break the lateral screw. Avoid sleeping on the side of your face since this pressure pushes the cheek into the screw head, and could create a large sore or ulcer. Eat carefully, avoid hard food, we recommend a soft diet (shakes, yogurt, soups) and to cut down your food in small pieces.
At the beginning, you will be biting only with your front teeth, and the back teeth won’t contact each other, so you will feel different when you eat and swallow. After a couple of weeks, the posterior teeth will settle back together. Your mouth will feel full, speaking will be difficult and you may notice that you are producing more saliva than normal. The lower jaw, tongue, cheeks, back teeth, and neck muscles may be sore. Only if needed you can take Tylenol or Ibuprofen, after a few weeks you are going to feel better.
Occasionally screws may come loose, please remove the lateral arms and bring them to your next appointment. The lateral arms may come apart, you can open widely and try to align them together. If you feel areas that are painful inside of your cheeks apply wax and communicate with us to schedule an appointment. Remember to brush your teeth and keep the appliance clean.
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