Ugh!!! It’s been a long 7 months, but just the other day we got the FANTASTIC news from the orthodontist that Kenzie’s jaw issues have been resolved and corrected which meant that she could FINALLY stop wearing the dreaded Face Mask contraption at night. Hooray!!!! Below is some info on our experience if you have a child with orthodontic issues like a severe underbite and/or cross bite. If you are wondering what the heck we are even talking about…. check out our Orthodontics Front Face Mask Photo below to see how Kenzie’s been sleeping every night since last October 1st. Yuck right? Growing up isn’t easy! This thing was no joyride!
Orthodontics Front Face Mask Photos
Here is Kenzie at the beginning of her journey when she first got the Face Mask.
And don’t worry, this isn’t something the doctor EVER has your child wear to school. Luckily, for us, we were able to do it with about 10-11+ hrs per day by wearing it only at bedtime.
Reasons for Orthodontics Front Face Mask
Kenzie had both a severe underbite and severe cross bite. Apparently this can be a really serious issue if it is NOT fixed. From the time Kenzie first went to the dentist at ages 3, her pediatric dentist was telling me her bite was an issue that we’d need to handle early in the hopes of preventing surgery. In order to prevent the need of jaw surgery later in life, according to our pediatric dentist and orthodontist, these concerns MUST be addressed before children stop growing and when the bones in their jaw and palette are not yet somehow fully fused together and instead are more flexible and responsive to orthodontic treatment – like the face mask. After 4 months of the Face Mask, Kenzie also got a very small set of top braces (she is missing a lot of top teeth!) but the idea was the braces with springs would work in tandem with her face mask to correct her jaw issue.
We loved how her jaw looked physically, but apparently mechanically this is a major issue that would haunt you later in life if not resolved. (Migraines, clicking – which she already had, and more)
We are thrilled it worked in only 7 months of treatment as it was a bear to wear!
Tips if your child needs to wear an Orthodontics Front Face Mask at Night
My best advice is to ease into it over a 3-5 days initially by wearing it for 2-3 hrs at a time. Then, take the plunge by wearing it to bed. This helped Kenzie adjust to it so that when it was time to wear it at night, she didn’t pull it off or find herself unable to fall asleep.
Compliance is huge! The doc told us he never wants to predict how long a child will need to wear it but he felt that even the most severe cases were never usually longer than a year or 18 months. Kenzie was a severe case apparently, but the good news is she was ULTRA compliant thus we got through the ordeal sooner than we feared. We were very lucky in that Kenzie never pulled it off in her sleep – this happens to some kids and obviously impacts compliance even for those trying to be compliant!
This is a photo of her smile now – you can tell her front teeth (the main ones at least!) finally came in and the braces straightened them out and the springs and mask helped adjust her jaw and expand her bite so she now has rom for more teeth to come in as needed too.