Protraction Face Mask Appliance
What the Appliance Does
The face mask appliance is used to protract or pull the upper jaw forward. It uses the chin and the forehead as anchor points allowing the jaw to move.
Face Mask Activation
Elastic bands are placed from the face mask hooks in the mouth and pulled under the crib or framework and attached to the hooks on the front of the face mask. When removing the elastics, it is important to disengage the elastics from the face mask and gently slide them off the hooks in the mouth.
The face mask should be worn mostly while sleeping.
What to Expect
The appliance is comfortable regarding dental or oral discomfort. Patients have reported some difficulty in adjusting to sleep positions. It is possible to sleep in most sleep positions while wearing the face mask.
Some patients have reported they feel a larger overbite in the mornings when first awakening.
There may be some excess salivation due to the elastics coming out of the corners of the mouth.
Some patients have noticed chapping of the corners of the lips. This is usually temporary until the patient acclimates to the elastic band position. Use chapstick to relieve discomfort.
Any other discomfort should be relieved with any over-the-counter pain medicines (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, etc.).
Cleaning Your Face Mask
- Clean the face mask with soap and a wet washcloth.
- An additional set of pads is given in the event the original pads shift, become loose or unattached or change color due to the oils in the skin.
Things to Watch For
- The patient may wake with crease marks on their face if they slept on their side during the night. These marks will fade relatively quickly.
- In rare instances the face mask hooks may become weakened or dislodged resulting from the way the elastics are removed. In some instances a new appliance may be needed to continue with the protraction therapy.
- Consistency is very important with this appliance as with most orthopedic appliances. It is better to wear the appliance every day than to wear it for a day, skip a day, and wear it for a longer amount of time, or try to “catch up” the next day.
Please bring your face mask with you to every appointment!