Herbst Instructions

The Herbst is used to enhance the growth of the lower jaw in a forward direction, while at the same time applying pressure to the upper jaw in a backward direction.  It can also be designed to allow expansion of the upper jaw.  The appliance helps to correct an overbite relationship of the jaws.  Frequently, you start treatment with a Herbst without braces.  The great thing about this is that you have less time in braces and less time with rubber bands!

A rod and tube connects the upper and lower jaws.  It does not interfere with opening and closing your mouth or eating.  Cutting your food into smaller bites will make chewing easier.  It will feel strange to eat at the beginning.  You will find side-to-side movement is somewhat restricted.  With the Herbst appliance, the arms might come part occasionally.  Some patients are more prone to the arms coming apart due to their jaw or how wide they open their mouth.  To put the Herbst appliance arms back together, you will need to line up the top tube with the bottom rod, and slowly bite down.

Some patients notice tenderness in their teeth, the muscles in their cheek, or their jaw joints.  This is perfectly normal an should last less than a week.  A pain reliever will help with any discomfort. 

The first week, is the most difficult because you must adapt to the new forward position of the lower jaw, and the cheeks and lips must adapt to the fullness of the appliance.  If sores develop adjacent to the arms of the appliance, a warm salt-water rinse will speed up the healing process.  Cotton rounds can be places between the rod and cheek for the first week to bumper the cheeks away from the appliance while sleeping.  After the first few weeks, you will find this to be an easy appliance to ear.  Normally, the Herbst is worn for approximately 12 months.

Brushing your teeth with your Herbst appliance requires extra time.  Brush thoroughly all around and leave no food trapped under the tubes or around the metal crowns. Watch our brushing and flossing video for further instructions.


  • Do not play with the appliance with your tongue or fingers
  • Do not make exaggerated side to side movements of the lower jaw
  • Do not open excessively wide
  • Do not eat STICKY, GOOEY, CHEWY, HARD, or CRUNCHY foods

Parents please discourage ALL of the above activities.  Should the appliance become loose, call the office immediately.  Re-cementing is a time consuming process and must be done during the morning.

3401 Northside Pkwy NW
Atlanta, GA 30327
Phone: (404) 233-1972


Mon – Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.