Herbst Appliance Instructions


Your new Herbst appliance is quite durable.  However, if problems arise while wearing your Herbst appliance, we have provided you with a kit for your convenience, to help you determine if you need to be seen in our office or if you would rather manage the issues at home until your next appointment.

Playing with your Herbst appliance with your fingers or tongue increases the risk of it becoming loose or broken.  You should also avoid sticky foods such as gum, caramels, and candy suckers, as well as hard foods like crisp vegetables that could lodge in the Herbst to pull it loose.

Occasionally, a screw on your Herbst may loosen.  You will have received a hex wrench (the same as an Allen wrench) in your take-home kit so that you may tighten or replace the screw if you are comfortable doing so.  If you cannot locate the kit, the wrench is size 0.05.  There are four screws on your Herbst: two along the lower teeth and two on the upper teeth.  These screws are on the “mechanism” or “arm.”  You can attempt to carefully replace and tighten the screw back in the socket.  However, as this is often not possible, it may be best to actually remove the loose arm mechanism completely by unscrewing the lower screw (turning counter-clockwise).  It is acceptable to wear only one arm mechanism until you can return to our office.  Please bring the loose arm with you for your appointment and call us to make that appointment as soon as possible.

Should one of the metal crowns come loose or a wire break, call our office as soon as possible for an appointment.  If you cannot manage any issues on your own, one of our doctors is always on call to help you.

For athletes, there are special mouth guards available at no charge to wear with your Herbst.  Ask one of our team members about these.

Be sure to brush your teeth and brush around your appliance as well as possible.  Good oral health greatly improves comfort during any dental treatment.