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I have discovered it is really hard to be Queen in a household with 3 princesses! Somebody is always borrowing my tiara! Well in between hunting my stuff down I am the proclaimed Queen in the Land of fluff (where my husband swears one day that he will die from glitter lung (you get the picture!) Besides that I am a dieting, exercising, crafting, biblestudying kind of girl.
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's Herbst Appliance Time

Well my second daughter hit stage two of her braces two weeks ago. (Stage one was she had to have wear an expander in the roof of her mouth to open up or expand the top jaw. Picture below)

She managed the expander with grace and dignity. Even though her speech sounded a little funny for a while. With the expander you had to put a little key in it and turn it each night. That job fell to my hubby since we have 3 daughters and I help do hair and he can not. Equal opportunity at our household)

Remember the head gears of the past? Well now they says, to fix an overbite "instead" of wearing a lovely head gear (pictured above) you get the privilege of wearing a lovely "herbst appliance" pictured below.

Well, that is a lot if metal inside the mouth! Paige is a trooper. It took 3 visits over 3 weeks to install the appliance. The final visit Paige was all excited to finally get it over with it & I had promised to take her to lunch & a trip to the bookstore. She loves to read. As we left the office we asked her to pose for pictures. Unfortunately when she opened up her mouth wide the appliance locked up for a few seconds and she could not close her mouth. Which did freak her out. Well we proceeded with our day.
I will be honest it took about 3 days before she was able to really adjust to eating and sleeping (she had to change her position of how she slept due to the fact that the metal hinge in her mouth rest between her cheek and teeth). Brushing her teeth takes longer now. However she is back to her regular routine now.

I did keep her out from school the day she got the appliance in & the day afterwards. The third day I sent her but picked her up for lunch, then she had the weekend to get more adjusted before she had to eat 1) in front of her peers but also 2) in the short amount of time allotted for lunch. The only challenges that she deals with now are: slower eatting, she also has to take smaller bites, and I do have to send toothpicks to school in case food gets lodged in her appliance. I swear she has to be the only fifth grade student with a toothpick in her lunchbox.
She has to wear this appliance for a year to correct her overbite. It has not been as bad as an experience ad I feared it would be! When we researched this we read all kinds of horror stories - I was really worried after that. Also we kept reading this is one of the most common used appliance that orthodontist use. However she is the only one we know of (as of right now) at the school who is wearing this appliance. However, you really can not tell she has it when you look at her, only if you get up close and look in her mouth.

After all this, simple plain braces (which are stage 3) will be easy breezy for her.
So that is what is happening in my world. Have any of your kids ever worn braces, expanders, or a herbst appliance?


  1. Paige is my HERO!
    What a pretty, brave, non-complaining young gal she is. And to think of how I whine and carry on when I need a filling or such. She is a great role-model for others. And she is BEAUTIFUL and SMART - the "real deal"!!

  2. Beautiful gal! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  3. My 8yo daughter Madelin just had her appt yesterday. She had an upper palatine expander (with the key), a Herbst appliance (minus the side-piston bars, which will go in after the two weeks of turning the key in her expander), and 4 upper braces and 3 lower braces(she hasn't grown in the 4th permanent tooth there in the bottom yet) installed. The braces are there to prevent her front teeth from being even further misaligned during the bite realignment process.

    She is definitely struggling with excess saliva, some lisping when she talks and some trouble eating. She has to take very small bites, chew slowly and drink frequently and even so is encountering difficulties. At school lunch today she could not have the raw carrots, whole apple or orange wedges offered. She ended up eating the chicken from her breaded chicken burger, no bun, and nothing else but milk to drink.

    I am proud of how she is coping though. No complaints really and only one minor meltdown when she did not want to have to brush her teeth at school after lunch, but she got over it and discovered, to her vast surprise, that it wasn't embarassing at all.

    I am hopeful that all of this will be worth it in the end, and that she manages to avoid the jaw surgery both her father and grandfather had to endure.

    1. Im glad that Madelin is adjusting! Eating takes a little getting used to since the jaw closes differently than it used to. Thanks so much for the feedback! I feel it's important to have realistics feedback out there for parents to read. Not just horror stories so that people really know what to expect. I am so glad you mentioned the excess saliva we did have an issue with that for a few days but it does seem like it is back under control. Thanks again for your comments!!!

  4. Just went to the ortho for my 13 year old son... he needs to wear an Herbst for 6-12 months and get the braces on at about 6 months. It does look a little intimidating! I am trying to research all I can before we move forward. I appreciate the information!



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