If your child has an overbite, simple treatment with braces will not correct the problem. The HERBST or MARA appliance is used to help the lower jaw develop in a forward direction. This eventually leads to an ideal bite.
The upper and lower parts of HERBST or MARA appliance are bonded to your child's molars. It also includes a connection between the upper and lower. By adjusting the connection, Dr. Van Westen is able to control the lower jaw's position in relation to the upper teeth. Typical treatment time with a HERBST or MARA appliance is 12 months. Braces can be worn before, during, or after HERBST or MARA use.
Herbst or Mara vs. Headgear
The main difference between a HERBST or MARA appliance and HEADGEAR is that the HERBST or MARA appliance is cemented to your child's teeth, while headgear is removable.
To be truly effective, headgear must be worn between 12 and 16 hours per day, which often poses a problem with patients who don't like to keep it on that long either due to cooperation or due to extracurricular activities.
Since the HERBST or MARA appliance is not removable, you won't need to keep track of how many hours per day your child wears it and cooperation does not become a factor.
Adjusting to your new Appliance
Muscle Tenderness – When your child first gets his or her Herbst appliance, there may be some overall muscle tenderness and soreness of the teeth for about 1 week. As your child's mouth adapts to the appliance, the soreness will fade.
Tissue Irritation – It will take time for your child's mouth to adapt. Until it does, dental wax can help to ease the irritation.
Diet – Eating softer food will help during the first week or two. It is also important to eliminate sticky foods, like candy and gum, or hard, crunchy foods, which can damage the appliance and lengthen treatment time.