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When you hear about “headgear” in an orthodontic context, what are your thoughts and feelings? Generally, the word doesn’t conjure the most positive emotions. Its depiction in the media doesn’t help. Are you familiar with the movie Finding Nemo? Then you’ll remember a red-haired, freckly child named Darla who takes frequent trips to the orthodontist. She wears headgear. She’s also rather unkind to the aquatic animals in the fish tank. It’s awkward.

Headgear doesn’t hold the greatest of reputations. But it’s actually a genius contraption. Unconvinced? Read on.

What qualifies as headgear, exactly? Headgear refers to any orthodontic appliance with thick wires that extend outside the mouth used to fix underbites and overcrowded teeth. Designs may vary according to the needs of the patient.

Ever studied physics? You may recall Newton’s laws of motion: to every action there is always an equal reaction. When you stand on the floor, you place your force on upon it. What you may not know is that the floor is exerting the same force back at you. Braces take advantage of these natural laws to straighten your teeth and align your bite over a period of time. But sometimes braces can’t quite get the job done. That’s when headgear comes to the rescue, providing extra support to your back teeth. This places pressure on your front teeth and bite, effectively pushing them into alignment.

Give Smile at the World Orthodontics in Temple, Texas a call at 254-773-8028 to discuss headgear options with Dr. Joshua Knowles. We’re here to make you smile.