Herbst Appliance

How to eat with Herbst Appliance | Food Choices

What is Herbst® Appliance?

Herbst appliance is used for stimulating the growth of lower jaw in the forward direction , and is mostly used with braces with an end goal of ideal bite.   This appliance is designed specifically for kids and growing children who have an improper bite and is normally worn for twelve months. An improper bite if left untreated can impact the long term health of child’s teeth, gums and jaw.

How Herbst Appliance promotes the goal of ideal bite?

Herbst appliance allows you to perform all jaw functions of opening and closing your jaw and moving your jaw forward but will not allow your jaw to move back.   This promotes or stimulates the lower jaw growth with an end goal of correcting improper bite.

The physical construction of the appliance consists of metal crowns which are cemented over child’s back teeth.  With the help of tubes, the upper crowns are connected to two rods on the lower crowns allowing your lower jaw to move forward.

How does the Herbst Appliance feel?

Like most braces, the herbst appliance may initially feel getting a little used to but within a week should feel quite comfortable.   Initial symptoms are soreness, headaches, irritation in the inside of your cheeks as the jaw muscles get used to the new position.  The initial aches and soreness lasting about a week are normal and are treated with over the counter drugs  – Tylenol | aspirin | ibuprofen.

If the symptoms prolong beyond a week, please call us.

Food choices that wont hurt with the Herbst Appliance?

During the first few weeks, we recommend soft nutritious foods to get used to chewing with herbst appliance. Some good initial food choices are apple sauce, mac & cheese, pasta, variety of soups, yogurt, eggs, fish, smoothies during the initial getting used to period with the herbst appliance. After the adjusting period which usually lasts a few weeks, you can resume your normal diet but avoid chewing ice or other hard food to damage or loosen the herbst appliance

How to eat with a Herbst Appliance?

Its a normal urge to play with something foreign in your mouth and is especially true when you have a bit of food lodged within your teeth and you use your fingers or tongue to force it out repeatedly.  Try to control the urge to play with the herbst appliance with your tongue or fingers, especially the tongue.  Let the appliance do its job by allowing your jaw to go where the Herbst appliance lets it and by avoiding  to force your jaw where it is difficult to do so when chewing your food.  Most kids will adjust to the appliance within a week.

What happens if the Herbst Appliance comes apart?

Its possible that the rod may slide out of the tube if you open your jaw wide like in yawning.  There is no need to panic, use your fingers with a mirror guiding you to slide the rod back into the tube.  If there is any breakage, you should save all the parts. If the incidence rate of the rod sliding out of the tube is recurring and happens regularly,  please call us.