Anyone familiar with the Herbst Appliance? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-01-2010, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted this in Health/Healing--Dental, but thought it might get more responses here. My daughter is to get a Herbst Appliance this summer. I've read that it is painful and hard to eat. My major concern in permanent jaw damage. My daughter can't afford not to eat; she only weights about 57 lbs. at 10 years. Anyone have experience with this? Thanks!
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#2 of 5 Old 06-01-2010, 10:34 PM
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I had one, in my twenties. I had braces/headgear as a child to move my lower jaw forward. It was not successful and my jaw moved back, which is why I got the Herbst later. So far, so good, my jaw has stayed in the proper place for 10 years now.

It is painful in the initial stages, when the palate is widening, but not so bad after that. There are some foods that are really hard to eat with it; for instance, spaghetti can get tangled in it in an uncomfortable way. If you yawn too wide, the top and bottom become disengaged and you have to put them back together.

But you get used to it, and it does work.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-02-2010, 01:20 AM
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Poor kid. My daughter had that, and the spreader. (at the same time) It wasn't fun, but she got used to it within a week. It is hard to eat. It's hard to talk right, and it's hard to play a wind instrument. But, she shouldn't have to wear it for the entire time she has braces. I can't remember how long my daughter had it... but, it was less than a year. (Her teeth and jaw were really bad)

It did an AMAZING job though. It was noticable very quickly, and I was so happy with the results.

For the first week, smoothies are your best friend. She will learn to tear off her food, like bread and eat it with her fingers. (not as weird as it sounds) But, taking big bites out of a hamburger or anything is probably not in her near future.

Still, it's really worth all the hassle.
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#4 of 5 Old 06-03-2010, 02:55 PM
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My DD has had hers for about 6 months now. It was uncomfortable when she first got it, but she was able to adjust to it pretty quickly. It cam look very intimidating at first. ONe of my friends actually came up to me after seeing her and said "what is that torture device in your daughter's mouth" only half joking!

The palate expander was more painful for her than the herbst. She had a pretty significant over bite and it is amazing to me how much htat has corrected in just 6 months.

She has had a couple of times when she was singing that it came unhooked or whatever it does, not sure of the correct term. She was able to put it back together pretty easily.

Good luck and hopefully she will be so happy with the results it will be well worth it!
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#5 of 5 Old 06-03-2010, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I'm glad none of you had any problems with the Herbst. We got a second opinion and have decided that the Herbst is not for my daughter. The 2nd otho office has a much friendlier staff and my daughter loved it there. They do not use the Herbst. She will be having 2 teeth pulled and be fitted for a retainer that she will wear only to bed. Later she will get braces and bands to correct the jaw. This seemed much less invasive than the Herbst. She would have had to wear that contraption for 1 1/2 years then braces for another 1 1/2 years. I think I just saved myself from hearing a lot of whining!
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