Appliances to correct jaw problems in children and teenagers
Orthodontic appliances for the jaw correction, which fall under what is called interceptive or functional orthodontics, include a series of appliances to correct the position and development of the mandible in children, teenagers or young adults with respect to the upper jaw.
How can you correct a jaw problem?
A jaw is corrected in children and teenagers with appliances that modify the way how the mandible is developing during growth. When this is the case, the pediatric dentist will recommend when an appliance should be used to correct the jaw problem.
Early intervention, i.e. during childhood or adolescence, will avoid solving the problem at a later age with invasive treatments, such as surgery.
Types of jaw appliances.
First of all, a jaw appliance is a device used in the oral area that helps the development of the jaw bones to grow in a proper way.
Therefore, depending on how the child´s jaw is growing, advancing (prognatism) or backwards (retrognathia), one type of appliance or another should be used.
Among the different types of appliances available to correct the jaw, we will cite:
When a prognatic jaw is developing:
Appliance used in anterior crossbites. It consists of a plate on the upper maxilla together with an anterior vestibular arch contacting with the inferior incisive teeth.
Rapid palatal expander
Appliance used to correct a crossbite caused by a narrow palate. This device will anchor on the superior molar teeth. It is formed by two metallic or acrylic symmetrical sides united one with the other with a fixing screw.
Reverse Headgear or Delaire Mask
This appliance is used for the treatment of prognathism. It consists of an external oral mask placed against the child´s or teenager´s forehead and chin.
Appliances in case a retrognathic jaw needs to be corrected:
Appliance with an acrylic block nesting both jaws. Its purpose is to help with the progressive advancement of the chin during growth.
Appliance with an acrylic block that matches on both jaws. It also helps to advance the chin progressively during growth.
Herbst Occlusal Hinge (HOH)
Appliance with two differentiated upper and lower parts. Both parts are joined together with two stems such as male/female. Therefore, when one is introduced into the other and are attached, a slight slipping forward of the chin happens.
Appliance to correct retrognathia consisting of an upper plate, as well as a lower one. Its use achieves a progressive advancement of the child´s or teenager´s chin.
How can I realign my jaw without surgery?
The realignement of jaws without surgery is possible during childhood or adolescence. Treatment is extremely effective with appliances at these early ages.
This is the reason why pediatric dentists highlight the importance of performing regular oral controls since the first year of age. If necessary, the child´s dentist will inform you of the moment the use of a dental appliance will be used.
Depending on the specific case, the pediatric dentist will perform an interceptive orthodontic treatment. Therefore, the aim is to correct the mandible and change the growth patterns of the jaw bones. In summary, the development will be modified obtaining the desired results in an easy and short way.