The “Facemask” is used in very young patients to correct skeletal Class III (underbite) malocclusions. These types of problems are characterized by upper teeth that fit behind lower teeth in the front as well as back teeth. The cause of this bite is a maxilla (upper jaw) that is not growing fast enough to keep up with the mandible (lower jaw).
What we accomplished with a “Facemask” (worn in conjunction with a palatal expander) is accelerated movement of the upper jaw forward (as much as 3mm), thus correcting the underbite, increasing the airway volume, and producing a pleasing facial result.
Cases of underbite where “Facemask” therapy is most beneficial are best treated at a very young age – the younger the better! In fact, if patients needing Face Mask don’t receive therapy before age 12 or 13, the only way to correct their skeletal problem is with surgery.
“Facemask” correction depends heavily on patient compliance, especially in the critical first months of therapy where the upper jaw is responding to the effects of expansion with the palatal expander. The more you can wear your “Facemask” in the beginning, the better the response, therefore we request for at least 12-13 hour a day/night wear.
The Facemask can be cleaned with a damp cloth or with any kind of disinfection pads. The forehead and chin pads can be replaced with new pads and are often more comfortable when lined with “Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin®”.
What to Expect:
As with any appliance, there is a short adjustment period as the teeth may experience some minor soreness.
Remember: If the appliance is placed immediately before bed, it can often create more soreness than is necessary, prompting “unconscious” removal by the patient. Placement of the appliance as early in the evening as possible is key to success!!
How long will I wear them?
Normally, the Facemaks is in for a minimum of 6-9 months.