How does an orthodontic chin cup work?

Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
An orthodontic chin cup is an extra oral appliance (outside of the mouth) that is used to help reduce or correct mandibular prognathism in adolescents. A chin cup is attached to elastic bands that usually fit over the crown of the head and put a moderate force on the lower jaw to help restrict its growth. Usually, the appliance is worn 12 or more hours per day for several months to a few years. The pressure from the chin cup restricts lower jaw growth. The upper jaw is allowed to grow at its normal rate and outpace the growth of the lower jaw. This helps realign the jaws and face into a more harmonious balance.
Dustin S. Burleson, DDS
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics

An orthodontic chin cup is used when patients have excess lower jaw growth or deficient upper jaw growth and your orthodontist's goal is to align the jaws. Chin cup therapy is typically recommended in younger patients with the goal of restricting the growth of the lower jaw, or re-directing natural growth in a desirable direction. Although more-popular years ago, many orthodontic specialists have transitioned to using reverse-pull facemask therapy for patients with under bites (or a combination of excess lower jaw growth and/or deficient upper jaw growth). If your child is a candidate for chin cup therapy, be sure to ask your orthodontist about the time commitment and cooperation requirements for this appliance.

Continue Learning about Orthodontics

What is an orthodontist?
Gregory J. Jorgensen, DMDGregory J. Jorgensen, DMD
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who first became a general dentist (usually 4 years of traini...
More Answers
What if I get a canker sore while wearing braces?
Canker sores are common while wearing braces. Cankers are sores that develop on the gums or inside t...
More Answers
How should I brush my teeth if I have braces?
Dr. Saul N. Miller, DDSDr. Saul N. Miller, DDS
Essentially the same principles of good brushing still apply; however, it may be a challenge to acco...
More Answers
How old do I have to be to start wearing braces on my teeth?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Since abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, orthodontic treatment o...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.