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What is a Herbst orthodontic appliance?

The Herbst is a type of orthodontic appliance which can help correct a patients overjet. Often the Herbst will be used alongside an orthodontic treatment, but in some cases, it can also be used as a standalone treatment (for overjets).

What is an overjet

When you close your teeth together and there is a gap between the upper and lower teeth (often with the front upper teeth sticking out crookedly), this is classed as an overjet. This is not to be confused with an overbite, which is when the upper teeth will cover more than half of your lower teeth when they are closed – Both problems can be treated through orthodontics and various appliances though.

How do overjets happen?

Overjets can naturally occur through your genetics as you were developing or the problem can be linked to finger/thumb sucking, nail biting etc which can affect the way your teeth come through if these habits are prolonged.

How can you correct an overjet with Herbst?

When the Herbst is fitted to a patient, it will promote healthy bone growth in the lower jaw whilst stopping it fall backwards. The lower jaw will match the same growth as the upper jaw and they will eventually meet for a nice healthy bite.

Will the herbst be comfortable to wear?

When you are first fitted with an appliance or brace there will be an adjustment period where it will feel strange to begin with. You will however, quickly become accustomed to wearing the appliance and it will be a comfortable and enjoyable treatment with minimal impact on your life (with regards to eating/speaking).

What should i do if there is any pain or soreness?

In the event that you do start to experience any discomfort or pain between your regular checkup/adjustment appointments, it is very important that you make an appointment as soon as possible to see us. During the treatment it is natural for changes to occur in your mouth which may require an adjustment for your continued comfort.

Can i eat normally?

When your having an orthodontic treatment it is always advisable to try and stay away from foods that could cause damage to your brace/appliance:

  • Ice Cold Drink/Food – For example, Ice lollies and slush puppies. Ice can freeze the cement which may loosen up the herbst appliance
  • Sticky foods – For example, caramel and bubble gum – They can get tangled in the Herbst and pull it away from your teeth.
  • Tough, hard foods – For example, strong candies. Biting down onto a tough sweet or piece of food can damage and bend the Herbst.

When ever you undergo an orthodontic treatment, our dentists will always offer you the best practice advice to ensure that you experience the most successful and enjoyable treatments, accomplishing your goals in the process.