Dr. Greg Jorgensen
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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?

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

  1. Sonia says:

    I just came across your page and it sounds extremely interesting and “cutting edge”. My son just got braces and he looks very strange, his lower jaw actually sticks forward. His orthodontist says that after he is done with treatment this may be permanent because of my son’s skeletal structure ( what an awful perspective…) could the springs actually help this problem?

    • If his lower jaw sticks forward, his underlying skeletal structure is probably out of balance. Springs of any type only move the teeth. If your son has a bigger lower jaw, the braces probably just removed the dental compensations and made the problem more visible. If your son’s appearance has changed for the worse, you need to discuss further options with his doctor.

  2. Maya says:

    I have a pretty large overbite. My orthodontist recommended twin blocks, but he says they may not work, because my growing has slowed down. He also said the twin blocks would affect my eating and speaking. Would these springs be a better alternative?

    • Actually, the correction that you would get from Twin Blocks or Forsus Springs is almost identical. Both correct the problem by shifting the teeth and not growing the jaws. Therefore, having residual growth is not a requirement of either technique. Given the option, I would choose the springs. They are much easier to live with!

  3. Tanesha says:

    are bands the same thing as this forsus springs? and do these forsus springs move your jaw alignment a lot faster??.. I have one on at the moment

    • Rubber bands and Forsus springs are both used to correct “overbites,” but they are not the same thing. Forsus springs provide more consistent movement because they cannot be forgotten or lost. By the way, neither rubber bands nor springs align the jaws. They only move the teeth.

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