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The word “headgear” doesn’t always bring the happiest thoughts and emotions. You might think of children in your school who wore or currently wear headgear. Chances are that they were teased for it. Or if you are familiar with the movie Finding Nemo, you might remember a red-haired, freckled child named Darla who wears headgear. She’s also a bit of a terror to the friendly aquatic animals in the fish tank at the orthodontist office. It’s kind of awkward.

Headgear isn’t very “cool” in our culture, but it’s actually a rather fantastic invention. “How so?” you ask. Read on.

Headgear is an orthodontic appliance with thick wires that extend outside the mouth. Dr. Ponce may recommend it to fix underbites and overcrowded teeth. Designs often vary.

Have you studied any physics? Then you may what are called Thomas Newton’s laws of motion. Basically, to every action there is an equal reaction. Here’s an example: when you stand on the floor, you place your weight on upon it, right? You’re probably not conscious, however, that the floor is pushing the same weight back at you. According to these same laws, the wires on your braces cause your teeth to push and pull against one another. This straightens your teeth and aligns your bite. As effective as braces are, though, sometimes they need some extra help. This is where headgear comes to the rescue. It provides extra support to your back teeth, fixing bite problems or crowded teeth in the front. The end result? A beautiful, healthy smile.

Next time you think of headgear, remember that it’s a miracle of the mouth that’s at work.

Want to know more? Call Friendly Smiles Orthodontics in Tucson, Arizona at 520-326-1101. We’re here to perfect your smile.