Orthodontics headgear: What Kind of Teeth Need Headgear?

What is Orthodontic Headgear?

At Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics, we are committed to providing exceptional care. We treat many patients who want to correct bite problems with orthodontic headgear. Orthodontic headgear is an appliance that treats bite problems that are usually caused by improper jaw alignment, which is known as malocclusions.

Most types of headgear have three components:

  • J hooks or facebow
  • Headcap
  • Attachments: rubber bands, springs, and elastic bands

What Kind of Teeth Need Headgear?

Some types of malocclusions that may require headgear include:

Open bite

This is when the front teeth don’t touch the lower teeth while biting, which leaves an open space.


This causes difficulty biting down and occurs when the upper and lower teeth overlap at the same time.

Retrognathism (overbite)

This is when the upper jaw and front teeth overlap with the lower jaw and lower front teeth.


This is similar to an overbite and occurs when the upper front teeth are at an outward, horizontal angle.

Prognathism (underbite)

This is when the lower jaw and front teeth overlap the upper jaw and upper teeth.

Types of Orthodontic Headgear

There are different types of headgear. The cervical pull-type has a U-shaped wire that’s fixed to the bands of the back of the teeth with a strap worn behind the neck.

High-pull headgear has a connecting wire like pull-type headgear but also comes with a strap that sits behind and over the head. This type of headgear is typically used to correct a horizontal overbite. This type of headgear is used in adult orthodontics when individuals need to maintain a correct bite or fix spacing after tooth extraction.

Reverse-pull headgear is commonly used to correct an underbite or crossbite. This type of headgear shifts the upper jaw so that it aligns with the lower jaw.

Our team at Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics welcomes the opportunity to help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile. Contact our Kansas City office or Sedalia office at Kansas City Orthodontics to find out more about adult orthodontics and headgear.