The Herbst appliance is used to enhance the growth of the lower jaw in a forward direction, while at the same time applying pressure to the upper jaw in a backwards direction.
A tube and rod work together similar to a shock absorber to connect the upper and lower jaws. This does not interfere with opening and closing the mouth or with eating, although side to side movement is somewhat restricted.
At first, you may notice some tenderness to your teeth, the muscles in your cheeks, and near your jaw joints. This is normal and should begin to disappear within a week. If it persists longer, please call our office. Rinsing with hot salt water will help take away the tenderness.
The insides of your cheeks may be irritated by the appliance until they get used to it. You may find it easier to sleep on your back so there is not as much pressure to the cheeks.
If the rod slides out of the tube while opening, open wide again and guide the rod back into the tube as you close. If a screw or crown comes loose, save all pieces and call our office so we can repair your appliance.