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What is orthodontic cervical headgear?

Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Cervical headgear is one of the appliances used in orthodontics to help retract or retard the forward growth of the upper teeth and jaw. This type of appliance is referred to as an extra oral appliance because it has a strap that is worn around the neck (cervical area) and is then attached to braces within the mouth. The headgear applies a constant pressure on the upper teeth and maxilla to help prevent further growth and forward movement of the upper teeth. This is typically used to help correct a large overjet of the upper teeth.
Dustin S. Burleson, DDS
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Orthodontic cervical headgear is a type of device used by your orthodontist to help correct an overbite, or jaw alignment problem. This type of headgear wraps around the back of the neck, as opposed to being worn on the top and back of the head. The basic principle is to harness an area of anchorage from outside the mouth (the back of the neck) and apply that force to help control the growth of the upper jaw. The headgear works on jaw alignment while your child's braces work on tooth alignment.

Headgear is most-often used in growing children and exists in several forms. Different headgear types are prescribed based on the unique growth pattern of your child. For specific details in the treatment plan for your child, be sure to ask your orthodontic specialist to review his or her instructions for wear of the headgear.
Gregory J. Jorgensen, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Cervical headgear is a strap that is used to put force on the teeth in the upper arch. It is called "cervical" because it wraps around behind the neck (the cervical vertibre).

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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.