Growth Appliances

Herbst Appliance

One of the most common problems orthodontics treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. Ordinarily, when we see a patient with the upper teeth protruding, we tend to think that the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward; but, more often than not, this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is further back than it should be. With these patients, we would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and braces like the Herbst appliance help this happen.

Even though the Herbst appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movement still occur easily, and patients do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.

As with all kinds of braces, patients with Herbst appliances need to be careful about what they eat. For instance, cold foods such as ice slushes, Popsicles and ice will freeze the cement and make the brace loosen. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and candy suckers will pull the brace away from the teeth. Hard foods like crisp vegetables and hard candies will bend and loosen the Herbst appliance, too. So stay away from these foods during your orthodontic treatment.

Your Herbst appliance will be checked and adjusted at your appointments. If, sometimes between appointments, you develop some sore areas on the inside of your cheeks, please do not try to adjust the appliance yourself. Call for an appointment so that the necessary adjustments can be made.

Wearing an Herbst Appliance

At first, your mouth will feel unusually full and speaking will be awkward. But if you practice reading aloud, your ordinary speech will return quickly. You may also notice more saliva than normal, but this will decrease as you become accustomed to the appliance.


The Bionator is a double retainer that is used to reduce an overbite by stimulating the lower jaw to grow in a more forward direction. For the maximum benefit, the Bionator should be worn up to 24 hours a day and taken out only for sports, eating, brushing and flossing.

The Bionator can be cleaned by brushing with a toothbrush and toothpaste. After the recommended time period for wearing this appliance full time, the Bionator can be worn only at night like a regular retainer.

7855 Fay Ave., Suite 220
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-7111

9456 Cuyamaca Street, Suite 103.
Santee, CA 92071
(619) 449-1122