The “Facemask” is used in very young patients to correct skeletal Class III (underbite) malocclusions. These types of problems are characterized by upper teeth that fit behind lower teeth in the front as well as back teeth. The cause of this bite is the upper jaw that is not growing fast enough to keep up with the lower jaw.
What we accomplished with a Facemask (worn in conjunction with a palatal expander) is accelerated movement of the upper jaw forward, correcting the underbite, and producing a pleasing facial result.
Cases of underbite where Facemask therapy is most beneficial are best treated at a very young age, the younger the better! In fact, if patients needing Face Mask don’t receive therapy before age 12 or 13, the only way to correct their skeletal problem is with surgery.