We know that it’s a big decision to get braces, whether they’re for you or your child. You might be even more surprised when there’s more work to be done than simply straightening your teeth.

Dr. Derek Sanders is an expert when it comes to the installation of the Herbst Appliance and any other orthodontic treatments that you may need. If you have an overbite, this additional piece of hardware will realign your teeth. It looks a bit like a piece of hydraulic equipment, although it’s not there to lift your teeth with ease. Instead, the contraption — which consists of a metal tube and a rod — uses pressure to push the lower jaw forward while pulling the upper jaw to promote backward growth. Dr. Sanders can adjust the Herbst Appliance as he sees fit throughout the overbite-correction process.

It might sound as though the Herbst Appliance will affect the way that you move your jaw while it’s in place; however, you can eat and drink as usual. It’s only attached to the back molars, which means it doesn’t change the way you open and close your mouth. And, while it’s working its magic, you can have normal braces on your teeth, too.

The Herbst Appliance is the ideal alternative to headgear, especially if it’s your child who is getting the Appliance installed. Headgear has to be worn between 12 and 16 hours per day in order to effectively correct an overbite; furthermore, no one really likes the look of headgear. The cap and its metallic pieces connect to the teeth in a way that’s not exactly subtle. Dr. Sanders’ installation of the Herbst Appliance will have your teeth moving the right way without having to worry about wearing headgear at all.

For most mouths, the Herbst Appliance takes about a year to get things straightened up. After Dr. Sanders first applies it to your molars, your mouth — teeth, jaw, and cheeks, specifically — will most likely feel sore for about a week. During that time, it’s a good idea to stick to a diet of softer foods. Once the soreness goes away, you can eat and drink as you normally would. Avoid eating popcorn, sticky candy, hard candy, gum, or ice during this time, though, as they can damage your Herbst Appliance. Finally, it’s important to brush your teeth with a great attention to detail when you have braces and a Herbst Appliance installed to keep everything clean and food scrap-free.

Otherwise, there’s nothing to worry about when having a Herbst Appliance put in by Dr. Sanders — you’re in great hands.