More than 20 years of experience

The headgear is an extraoral (external) appliance worn by children with excessive growth of the upper jaw compared to the lower jaw. The upper teeth then protrude outwards and there is no room to accommodate posterior permanent teeth. In some cases, it can be also worn by adults.

The headgear is the first part of a comprehensive two-stage treatment of malocclusion characterised by excessive growth of the upper jaw, maxilla and/or insufficient growth of the lower jaw, mandible. It is followed by a fixed appliance, while some patients continue to wear the headgear simultaneously with fixed braces. When worn properly, the headgear exerts forces that have both a skeletal and a dental effect. In other words, the headgear inhibits the growth of the maxilla by simultaneously moving the teeth backwards, which opens a space for the eruption of teeth that would otherwise remain “blocked” in the bone. Additionally, by moving the upper posterior teeth backwards and by inhibiting the growth of the upper jaw, it creates space for the movement of the upper front teeth “backwards”, which follows during fixed appliance phase. The headgear combined with the fixed appliance dramatically improves the facial appearance and eliminates the need for tooth extraction to the great satisfaction of the child, parents and orthodontist.

The headgear consists of:

  1. Metal bands that are cemented to the permanent first molars. The largest tube on the band is intended for the headgear.
  2. The facebows consist of an inner and outer face bow. The inner (intra oral) arch is inserted into the tubes on molar bands, while the outer (extra oral) arch is attached to the neck strap.
  3. A soft cotton strap is placed around the back of the neck and fastened with elastic modules on each side to the outer facebow.


  • It is usually sufficient to wear the headgear for 8 hours a day, or an hour or two before and during sleep, because then it is most effective.
  • For some patients, we recommend wearing it for 10 to 12 hours daily. As children sometimes do not sleep as much, we recommend wearing it while doing homework, playing videogames, or watching TV. That is why we do not refer to it as a “night-time appliance”, but as a “home-appliance”.
  • Consistency is extremely important for headgear efficiency. It should be worn daily and consistently, even though we may sometimes feel tired and not up to it.
  • For the first few days after fitting the headgear, the teeth may feel sensitive to touch. This is not a sign of concern, but a sign that the patient should be persistent. By constantly wearing the headgear, the teeth stop being mobile and sensitive, and the real movement starts!
  • Although the patient may not see any effect on the front teeth, he/she hould not give up. The headgear is “preparing” the teeth, which are then straightened with fixed braces. If you wear your headgear properly, there is no need for tooth extraction!
  • The headgear should be removed and put back exactly as demonstrated by the orthodontist. Although it may seem difficult and complicated at first, in a week or two, patients learn to put it on and take it off even without looking in the mirror!
  • Never remove it while the strap is attached to both face bows!!
  • You should always bring all parts of the headgear when going for a check-up!

Thousands of successfully treated children and adults.