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Functional Braces

One of the most common orthodontic problems is a discrepancy that occurs if the lower jaw is set back relative to the upper, giving the appearance of goofy or protruding upper teeth.

With these cases the treatment objective would be to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth and a functional appliance may help this happen.

School child

Functional appliances are devices used to correct bad bites and they are mainly used in growing patients. They are so-called because you can ‘function’ when they are in your mouth. These appliances exploit the muscle actions used when speaking, eating and swallowing to produce forces that move the teeth and align the jaws. They are also known as orthopedic appliances or orthopedic correctors. Common brands include Herbst fixed appliances and Twin-block removable appliances.

Twin-block Appliance

The Twin-block is a removable, functional appliance which derives its name from the split nature of the device in which you have an upper block and a lower block which fit together like twins. When you bite, the blocks fit together in a certain way that encourages your jaws to grow into the correct biting position. Much like other removable appliances, when initially fitted there is an adaptation period of up to three days where your mouth may produce more saliva. To make sure you have a short adaptation period, you will need to wear the appliance for the minimum number of hours specified by your orthodontist.

Twin block removable functional braces

To make sure you have a short adaptation period you will need to wear the appliance for the minimum number of hours specified by your orthodontist. For the brace to work correctly the blocks on your brace have to meet together properly at all times – walking around with your mouth open and the blocks not in contact is not a great idea.

The way in which this appliance works and also how quickly it works relies solely on your commitment to the treatment plan specified by your orthodontist.

How long will treatment take?
Twin blocks or functional treatments can take anywhere between 6 to 12 months to produce the desired effects. The orthodontist might recommend a course of fixed braces for a further period to refine the results.
Reasons to take your twin blocks out:
  • When taking part in physical contact sports, i.e. rugby, football, hockey because you will need to wear a sports guard.
  • When swimming – to avoid losing your brace whilst in the water.
  • Cleaning of the brace must be done after every meal. We advise that you purchase a cleaning pack from your orthodontic practice, and only use recommended cleaning products on the brace.

Effect of functional appliances on the profile

Profile before functional braces

Before:

The lower jaw is smaller than the upper causing an adverse profile where the top appears to stick out as shown in the silhouette.

Profile after functional braces

After:

The jaws have been brought into alignment by wearing functional braces which has corrected the profile creating a much straighter silhouette.

Invisalign Teen with mandibular advancement

Invisalign Teen with mandibular advancement is a clear aligner solution for Class II correction. Offering the same benefits of the Invisalign Teen advanced clear aligner system, it combines features previously only available from treatment with functional appliances. The Invisalign Teen with mandibular advancement aligners have been specifically designed for moving the lower jaw forward while simultaneously aligning the teeth this makes the treatment much more efficient and patient-friendly.

Profile after functional braces

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