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Functional appliances

A functional appliance is a fixed or removable type of brace, used for children, to correct how their upper and lower teeth fit together. They work by moving the teeth and modifying the growth of the jaws and are often used as a first stage in the orthodontic process, which is then followed by treatment with fixed braces.

The most common type of functional brace is a ‘twin block’ appliance. This is made up of separate upper and lower parts, which fit together and as a result, the lower jaw is pushed forward. For best results, this type of brace should be worn at all times, including when sleeping and eating. However, it can be taken out for brief periods when cleaning teeth, playing contact sports, swimming or playing wind instruments.

How they can help

  • Can correct protruding upper teeth
  • Improve how teeth bite together
  • Can improve your profile

The process

  • The twin block appliance is made up of two removable braces that are fitted to the upper and lower teeth.
  • Treatment normally takes 6-9 months and regular adjustments will be required during this time.
  • After this time, you may need to continue in treatment using conventional braces to fix any crowding, gaps or alignment problems that you may also have.