Dr. Greg Jorgensen
(505) 891-9440
1401 Barbara Loop SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

The Jorgensen Orthodontics Blog

Kiss Your Overbite Goodbye with Forsus Springs

Posted by Dr. Jorgensen on October 19th, 2012

Forsus4One of the most common questions new orthodontic patients ask me is “Do I need headgear?” For years, headgear was the most common way to fix overbites. Over the past 25 years there has been a gradual shift away from headgear, so much so that it is now very rare to see anyone wearing it. Not only has this change come about because kids don’t like it, but also because there are now excellent alternatives that are more acceptable to today’s youth. One of these is the Forsus Spring.

Protrusive upper teeth can be the result of upper teeth that are too far forward, lower teeth that are too far back, an upper jaw that is too big, or a lower jaw that is too small (this being most common). If your orthodontist determines that your overbite can be resolved by moving the upper teeth back while allowing the lower teeth to move forward an equal amount, he may recommend inter-arch springs (connected between your upper teeth and your lower ones). I have used many spring designs over the past 25 years but have never been as impressed as I am with the Forsus made by 3M Unitek.

I like the Forsus spring because 1) it is hidden inside the cheeks and almost undetectable, 2) it allows normal mouth movements and is well tolerated by patients, 3) it is tough and rarely breaks, 4) it causes very few emergencies, 5) it has few undesirable side effects, and 6) it is non-removable by the patients so it cannot be misplaced or forgotten. The Forsus spring is made out of nickel titanium so it provides a constant, non-decaying force. The bottom line is that IT WORKS!

The following video illustrates the Forsus spring (although the one pictured is an older model than we currently use):

Here is some useful information to make your experience with the Forsus spring as easy as possible. Like anything associated with your braces, it will take a couple days to get used to having them in your mouth. This is especially true at meal time. Besides having to relearn how to chew, it will also take you a few days to get the hang of keeping them clean. The springs work best when your teeth are together (because that’s when the force is in its most horizontal direction). To help keep your teeth together at night and “supercharge” their effectiveness, your orthodontist might recommend wearing light elastics between your upper and lower teeth while you sleep just to help you keep your teeth together. Forsus springs usually remain in place anywhere between 3 months to a year depending upon the severity of your overbite.

Although Forsus springs are generally trouble free, you should call your orthodontist if you notice any of the following: 1) the bracket on the upper back tooth where the spring is anchored becomes separated from the tooth or band, 2) the bracket on the lower front tooth (against which the spring pushes) either gets loose or the little steel tie comes off, 3) you notice any of the front teeth turning because of the pressure, 4) the spring doesn’t feel like it rebounds smoothly or it appears damaged, 5) you start to get an ulceration where the spring rubs against your cheek, 6) you start to get spaces where there shouldn’t be any, or 7) if you think that the spring has worked too well and your bite is overcorrected. Examining your springs daily and notifying your doctor when you notice anything out of the ordinary can help keep you on schedule and avoid setbacks due to breakage or overcorrection.

Forsus springs are the best overbite correction technique that I’ve used in 25 years. Although they are not appropriate for everyone (especially those with lower front teeth that are already flared), they are an effective way to make the upper and lower teeth fit correctly. Does your orthodontist use Forsus springs?

NOTE: The author, Dr. Greg Jorgensen, is a board-certified orthodontist who is in the private practice of orthodontics in Rio Rancho, New Mexico (a suburb on the westside of Albuquerque). He was trained at BYU, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Iowa in the United States. Dr. Jorgensen’s 25 years of specialty practice and 10,000 finished cases qualify him an expert in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign), and multiple bracket systems (including conventional braces, Damon and other self-ligating brackets, Suresmile, and lingual braces). This blog for informational purposes only and is designed to help consumers understand currently accepted orthodontic concepts. It is not a venue for debating alternative treatment theories. Dr. Jorgensen is licensed to diagnose and treat patients only in the state of New Mexico. He cannot diagnose cases described in comments nor can he select treatment plans for readers. Because he has over 25,000 readers each month, it is impossible for him respond to all questions. Please read all of the comments associated with each article as most of the questions he receives each week have been asked and answered previously. The opinions expressed here are protected by copyright laws and can only be used with written permission from the author.

186 comments so far in response to “Kiss Your Overbite Goodbye with Forsus Springs”

  1. Aurelija says:

    Im 13 years old and I have forsus (Made from Titanium) a few days. My problem is: I had a headache, my hair and clothes get electrified and I get really sleepy.
    Can you suggest something?

    • I can imagine that a headache might occur because of the way the springs change your bite and affect the facial muscles. I’ve never heard of anyone getting electrified or getting sleepy however. The only thing you can do for the headaches is just take over-the-counter pain relief until you’re accustomed to it.

  2. Aaliyah says:

    I previously had braces, with my four biscupid teeth being extracted but my teeth have shifted somewhat leaving me with an overjet. However, I have had my first molar on the left side also extracted since (failed root canal), from what I can see the forsus is usually anchored on this tooth. I am just wondering if I was to get one how would it be attached, would it be to my last molar?

  3. Alex A. says:

    I’m 21 and going to be getting braces and forsus springs to try fix/improve my overbite. The thing that scares my though is that my orthodontist said because my teeth are already pretty straight/not that bad, that I might get a gummy smile after. Do you know why this would be? I really want to fix my overbite but do not want a gummy smile.

    • Gummy smiles are produced when the teeth are not only moved backwards, but also downwards. This is more common with elastics which pull the front teeth back from attachments up at the front of the upper arch. Forsus springs mainly push the lower teeth forward and do not cause as many problems in the upper front teeth. I would discuss this again with your own orthodontist as I am not familiar with your particular case.

  4. Zach Holahan says:

    Hi, ive had the forsus spring for around 2 weeks. Today, all of a sudden, I (wasnt eating or doing anything with my mouth), started to feel a lot of pressure on the spot in the front where it is attached. I have to push the spring back in order for this pressure to go away. The pressure comes when i open my mouth past a certain point, and the close it. As I said, the pressure only goes away when i use force to push the spring, yet i wasnt doing anything at the time for this change in the spring to occur. Do you have suggestion on what i should do? P.S. The spring looks exactly the same.

  5. Emily says:

    Hi,I’m 15 and I just got the forsus springs a few days ago. The springs are causing discomfort to my cheeks to the point that I’m getting small cuts in them, is this natural or should I be worried?

    • Although not normal, irritations do occur in a small number of my patients. The remedy is to remove the springs for a couple of weeks to allow healing and the reinsert the springs. The cheeks will heal stronger than they were before and this is enough for most patients.

  6. Pratyusha says:

    I’m 16 yrs old! I’ve had braces on 7th january.After few day i have consulted my orthodontist on 17th january. He had fixed something on my back teeth! They are like the braces shown in the above video but they donot contain only spring! I even have those hook type “thingy” fixed but no spring! And it is hurting my cheek very badly!
    I just want to know that,is that spring necessary for overbite?And please give me some remedies for cheekache!

    • I cannot diagnose what is causing your individual problem. What you are describing does not sound like a Forsus. The best fix for cheek irritation is to remove the springs for a few weeks to allow healing, then reinsert them. Almost nothing else helps because they move so much.

  7. Vanessa says:

    I’m 31 and my Orthodontic recommend me the Forsus on the left side because I have a Class II on that side and the middle line is not on the right position.
    My concern is if at my age is correct to use that Forsus.

  8. kelly kupronow says:

    I am 23 years old and I am looking to get braces. I have seen a orthodontist this wweek to arrange braces. I have been told braces will straighten my teeth but I have a under developed jaw and over bite over jet which can’t be fixed with braces?? Is this true? Can it only be fixed when a teenager?
    Please help me as I’m not sure whether to go to another dentist or to just get braces and come to terms with my overbite can’t be fixed..it’s not that bad but would rather get another opinion

    • It is true that braces ALONE cannot fix your overbite. They only align the teeth. You have to use additional “auxiliaries” to correct an overbite. These include elastics for mild overbite, springs or extractions for moderate ones, and extractions or surgery for severe problems. If your doctor has told you that your overbite can’t be corrected, you need to find a different doctor.

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