What is a functional appliance?
Functional appliances are devices which are used to correct the bite. They are so called because you can function when they are in the mouth. One type of functional appliance is called a Twin Block. It 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.
How do functional appliances work?
When you bite, the Twin Block fits together in a certain way that encourages your jaws to grow into the correct biting position (it is mainly used in growing patients). It is one of the fastest and most effective methods to correct receding jaws, goofy teeth or excess overjet.
The Twin Block can be taken out of the mouth for cleaning or when you want to eat certain foods. Much like the removable appliance, 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.
How to care for your functional appliances
The Twin Block is one of the most comfortable functional appliances available. It is also one of the most aesthetic. And, because it’s removable, it makes it easier to clean as well. This should be done after every meal. We advise you purchase a cleaning pack from us and only use the recommended cleaning products on the brace.
For the functional appliance to work correctly the blocks on your brace have to meet together properly at all times. The only occasions when you should remove them are:
- 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.
Treatment can take anywhere between 6 to 12 months and may be followed by a course of fixed braces.