Functional appliances are used to correct bite issues such as overbite and overjet (prominent teeth) by moving the lower jaw forward over time. These orthodontic appliances are suitable for teenagers and younger children whose jaws and teeth are still growing.
As functional appliances correct bites but cannot straighten teeth, they are often followed by other treatments such as braces to complete the full orthodontic correction.
These appliances can be either fixed or removable. The most commonly used functional appliance at Tindall Orthodontics is the Twin Block.
By gradually pushing the lower jaw forward, the Twin Block can achieve a more harmonious bite and can correct the appearance of prominent teeth when combined with braces.
We recommend the use of functional appliances for children and teenagers to take advantage of your child’s natural growth and promote healthy development.
Treating a bite issue can mean avoiding more intensive procedures such as jaw surgery in the future. If your child requires braces following this treatment, functional appliances will reduce the time required for braces to be effective.
Because functional appliances guide the natural growth of jaw and face muscles, they are ideally used during growth spurts, particularly around the beginning of puberty.
Removable appliances for children require the full cooperation of the child to succeed.
Treatment with functional appliances is usually complete within 12 months, after which time we may recommend braces to complete your orthodontic care. We will discuss the different types of functional appliances available during your consultation.
After your functional appliance is fitted, you will need to visit your Orthodontist regularly to have it checked and adjusted. We will also advise parents if their children are not wearing or cleaning their removable appliance as instructed.
You may feel some soreness for a few days after your appliance is fitted, but this will fade as your mouth adjusts. We recommend avoiding hard and sticky foods and acidic drinks to prevent your appliance being damaged.
It’s essential that you take good care of your functional appliance, as damage or loss will extend your overall treatment time. If you have a removable appliance, this should be replaced with a mouthguard if you take part in contact sports and other activities that present a risk of damage.
You also need to take good care of your teeth and keep up with your regular dental appointments throughout your orthodontic treatment. Brush three times daily and floss once a day, making sure to remove any food trapped in the appliance, so you will prevent tooth decay and dental procedures that could prolong your orthodontic treatment.
Call us to speak to our team about functional appliances and other orthodontic options for your child. No referral is required for your initial consultation.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.