Whitlock Orthodontics - Springdale & Fort Smith, AR

Malocclusion, or “bad bite,” is when the upper and lower teeth are not meeting correctly. When young, the jaw growth is a slow and gradual process. Once in a while something may go wrong with this process causing the upper and lower jaws to grow at different rates, resulting in an improper bite.

Leaving an improper bite untreated may threaten the long-term health of your teeth and gums. The jaw joint (TMJ) can also be negatively affected by a jaw misalignment. In addition, jaws of different sizes can affect appearance.

Appliances for Correcting Jaw Growth

Let me explain to you about corrective jaw treatments. We use a process called dentofacial orthopedics to correct jaw problems. The issue you have with your jaw is relatively minor, but some type of corrective measure is going to have to be taken. There are three types of appliances that we use to correct jaw growth problems: Headgear, the Herbst® appliance and the Bionator. I know, the names sound like something out of a science fiction movie, right? However, you have nothing to worry about. All of these appliances are straightforward and easy to use, and all of them will help make your upper and lower jaws more compatible. Let me explain further.


Headgear is one of the most common orthodontic appliances. It works by applying pressure to the upper teeth and jaw. This pressure then helps guide, form, and correct upper jaw growth. It also helps align your upper teeth. Headgear is typically worn between eight and 12 hours. You might find it difficult to sleep with headgear on at first, but in no time at all, you won’t even know it’s there.

The Herbst® Appliance

The Herbst appliance is different. Unlike headgear, it can’t be removed from your mouth. The appliance is fixed to the molars. It works by holding the lower jaw forward, and this helps to create successful jaw growth and teeth positioning.

The Bionator

This is another example of a removable appliance. It enables the upper and lower jaws to grow proportionally. The Bionator holds the bottom jaw forward as well as guides the teeth. It will result in a perfectly aligned and corrected bite.

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