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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
Headgear helps to speed the straightening of your teeth by allowing outside forces to be applied to the braces in your mouth. In younger patients, headgear can help influence the direction of jaw growth. For older patients whose bones have stopped growing, headgear uses the stability of the head and neck to transfer outside forces and aid movement of the teeth. The device consists of straps that go around your head or neck and attach to wires that hook into your braces. Three types of headgear are available. Neck strap headgear is designed to keep the upper jaw from growing or to pull the upper teeth back. High- pull headgear pulls the upper jaw and teeth up and back so they align with the lower jaw and teeth. Combination headgear integrates the two other types. Headgear is usually worn from twelve to fourteen hours a day according to your orthodontist's instructions. Once you start treatment, you must keep it up; or your treatment time could be extended. Talk to your orthodontist for more information on headgear

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