Orthodontic Appliances

The Herbst Appliance




One of the most common orthodontic problems is an overbite. In most cases this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is further back than it should be. Dr. Alborzi has corrected many overbites using the Herbst Appliance, an orthodontic device that encourages the lower jaw to catch up in growth.

Dr. Alborzi has successfully used the Herbst appliance to correct overbites in her patients. Patients using the appliance see rapid results and feel the benefits of having straight teeth and a properly aligned jaw.
The Herbst Appliance promotes jaw growth.

Call (650) 288-0316 to schedule your No-Charge Consultation with either our San Mateo Office or our Half Moon Bay Office or click here to schedule your No-Charge Consultation online.

What does the Herbst Appliance do?

Herbst Appliance at work on teeth

The Herbst Appliance promotes jaw growth.

The Herbst appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward although opening and closing movement still occurs easily. The device is attached to the back molars on the upper and lower jaws with bands that are cemented into place. Patients using the Herbst Appliance do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.

How long will I have to wear the Herbst Appliance?

Patients normally wear the Herbst Appliance for about 12 months.

Should I avoid certain foods with the Herbst Appliance?

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.

What if I experience soreness?

If you develop sore areas on the inside of your cheeks between appointments, your Herbst Appliance may need to be adjusted. Please do not try to adjust the appliance yourself. Call for an appointment so that we can take care of it for you.

What will it be like to wear the 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.


separators in back of teeth

Separators create space between two teeth.

Dr. Alborzi uses separators to create small spaces between two teeth. With the bracket technology we use, we only need to place separators or spacers if we are fitting a band or brace that goes all the way around a tooth.

Separators are made of a rubber material shaped like a mini rubber band. They can also be a small metal spring called a TP spring. Four to eight separators are usually placed at a time around the back teeth. Separators will need to stay in your mouth for up to one week.

Below are some common questions and answers about caring for your separators to keep them comfortably in place between office visits.

Is it normal to feel the separators between my teeth?

Yes. Once a separator has been placed between your teeth it may feel like you have something stuck between your teeth. When you bite down you may feel the separator. Within a few hours this feeling will go away, and in most cases you will forget they are there.

Are there certain foods I should avoid with separators?

Yes. While the separators are in you mouth, do not eat any sticky foods like caramel, taffy or chewing gum. It is important that the separators stay in between your teeth until you come in for your next appointment. The separators will help to make your banding appointment much more comfortable.

What if I have pain or discomfort?

If you have any discomfort with your separators you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever and you can rinse with warm salt-water several times a day. To make a salt water rinse, place 1 to 2 teaspoons of table salt in a cup of warm water. Swish the salt water around in your mouth, but don’t swallow it. After swishing, spit the rinse into the sink.

Can I floss my teeth with separators?

Yes. You should continue to floss your teeth while the separators are in EXCEPT between the teeth where the separators are. Do not floss between those teeth.

What should I do if a separator falls out?

Sometimes a separator will fall out on its own. If it does then there is probably enough space to place the band comfortably at your next office visit. If a separator falls out due to what you’re eating or because of flossing, then it is important that you come back to the office and have the separator replaced.

If you have a separator come out one or two days before your scheduled appointment, please come in 20 minutes early for your appointment. When you arrive, tell the receptionist that you had a separator fall out and the assistant will replace it for you. This will be enough time to re-open the spacing.

Call (650) 288-0316 to schedule your No-Charge Consultation with either our San Mateo Office or our Half Moon Bay Office or click here to schedule your No-Charge Consultation online.
Free introductory consultation with Dr. Alborzi.


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