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Herbst Appliance

The Herbst is a non-removable orthodontic appliance that is used primarily for the treatment of an overbite. The ‘Herbst’ (Bite Jumper), was developed by Dr. Herbst, over a hundred years ago. It holds the lower jaw forward in a normal biting position by means of telescoping metal rods. The Herbst creates a desirable facial change immediately and, even though the muscles of the face appear tense at first, these muscles will soon relax.

Typically, the Herbst is worn for 8-12 months with adjustments every 12 weeks to accomplish the forward movement of the jaw. The last two months can actually create an underbite as the teeth may be overcorrected in anticipation of some relapse when the device is removed.

At first, the lips, cheeks and teeth may become sore. An over-the-counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen will help to relieve this discomfort. Since the upper and lower teeth do not usually fit together for the first two to four weeks, a softer diet is recommended for the adjustment period. Wax may be placed over any part that is irritating the cheeks. Attempt to dry off the area thoroughly with tissue before applying the wax. We will also give you cotton rolls for your cheeks to help acclimate to the appliance.

Most people acclimate to the Herbst very quickly and have an uneventful time with the Herbst. It is, however, very important to follow the detailed instructions given at the time of delivery for treatment to go most smoothly.

Please avoid hard, sweet and sticky foods. Most of all, avoid rocking the Herbst with extraneous side-to-side and back-and-forth movements of the jaw and grinding the teeth. Brush your teeth and the appliance carefully and often. Especially aim the bristles up under the lower crown arms.

We truly appreciate and understand the difficulty some have adjusting to the Herbst. Unfortunately there is no innocuous way to correct an overbite. We use the Herbst because it is both efficient and consistently effective, unlike other devices such as a headgear, designed for overbite correction. Once you have become accustomed to the appliance, we feel you will be very pleased with the rapid results.