DO I NEED HEADGEAR?
When you go for your first orthodontic evaluation Dr. Graff may recommend that you need a forsus™ appliance. This is normally placed on a few months to 6 months after you have started treatment. You would get your brackets and molar bands placed first and begin your treatment. Then the forsus would be applied when the Dr. Graff thinks it’s time.
WHAT DOES THE FORSUS™ APPLIANCE DO?
Fluoride comes in two varieties, topical and systemic. The forsus is used to correct class 2, patient’s jaws that the upper jaw and teeth protrude over the lower jaw and teeth by a lot. It is not used in all cases but the more extreme cases that the orthodontist thinks that normal orthodontic elastics may not be able to correct or the forsus would correct it faster. This can reduce time in braces limiting or basically eliminating the use of regular orthodontic elastics. The forsus helps the patients that may not remember to wear a headgear or the elastics and can also possibly prevent the need for expensive jaw surgery in some case. The appliance is made to align the teeth and reduce the overbite and promote the proper jaw growth in patients. It is mostly used in adolescents because that is the time the growth of the jaw in mainly taking place. Once the appliance is placed in the patient’s mouth it needs to stay there for 6 to 9 months depending on the severity of the case.
HOW IS THE FORSUS™ PLACED IN THE MOUTH WITH BRACES?
The forsus appliance is made up of a spring module that is attached to the upper molar bands. There is a push rod that is attached to the lower arch wire and then placed inside the spring modules. So basically, it looks like to springs on each side of your mouth that go from the back on the top to the lower. You are unable to take this out. What should you expect? Most patients explain the feeling as pressure and have some discomfort. It is forcing your jaw to move into the ideal bite position. It is going to feel strange because you will feel as if you cannot bite properly. You really are learning to bite the proper way unlike how you were in the past biting incorrectly. The springs should not affect how you eat or speak after the first adjustment or placement. You can take Tylenol or Advil if needed for discomfort. You may also need to eat a softer diet for a day or two until you get used to it.
You will still need to go to your orthodontist for your regular adjustments. Some may see you only 8-10 weeks and some may still see you every 4-6 weeks. The orthodontist may add slight mm pieces to either both sides or just one of the push rods to continue to correct your bite more.
SOME PROBLEMS YOU MAY RUN INTO WITH THE FORSUS™ APPLICANCE
Sometimes if you yawn or open too big the rod may come out of the spring module. Do not panic! You should be able to place it back in. What you will need to do is open as big as you can and place the lower rod that is attached to the lower arch wire back into the spring module. The spring is hollow inside allowing the rod to be inserted easily. You may need to pull back the spring module to get it placed in there. If you are unable to do this you should call your orthodontic office promptly. Never go without it placed in the spring. It can cause problems if eating or even talking with the rod hanging loosely.