A facemask is an orthopedic or growth modifying orthodontic appliance worn in conjunction with a palatal expander. It is used to make changes in jaw growth for kids whose upper jaws are lagging behind their lower jaws causing an underbite (what is known as a class III problem). Our orthodontist, Dr. Michele Renick, may recommend it for children who have growing left to do. This is one problem that must be screened for and corrected early because it is effectiveness decreases with age.
The class III growth problem is an unpredictable growth pattern. In the more severe cases, jaw surgery and/or permanent tooth extraction may be the treatment of choice to correct the problem. The goal of early treatment with the facemask is to try to avoid jaw surgery and/or extractions in the future if possible. The appliance “grows” the upper jaw and is essentially jaw surgery without the surgery!
The mask itself has a cup for your child’s chin and a padded area for their forehead. The appliance is held in place by elastics which attach to hooks on the palatal expander.
We ask that the patient wear the facemask 12-14 hours each day. The better it is worn, the quicker we can be finished with it. If Dr. Renick prescribes a face mask for your child, you should place on them as early in the evening as you can. This can be worn while doing homework or watching TV in addition to wearing it to bed. We do not ask our patients to wear this to school.
If you would like to find out if your child needs an orthodontic face mask in Sunbury and Delaware, Ohio, call Renick Orthodontics at 740-936-5003 and speak with a member of our team.