Functional Appliances

For complex bite problems, Dr O’Donnell might recommend the use of functional appliances. Functional appliances are removable braces that work on the upper and lower teeth at the same time.

What age is best for Functional Braces?

Growing patients from the age of ten upwards as they gain most benefit from this technique. Functional appliances are one of the fastest and most effective methods to correct receding jaws or prominent teeth and need to be worn 22 hours per day. Patients very often transition to either fixed or Invisalign braces to individually straighten their teeth once their treatment with the twin block to fix the bite has ended. The treatment duration in the second phase is much shorter and often avoids the need to extract teeth in the upper arch if the bite has been corrected with a functional brace at the optimal age.

What problems can Functional Braces treat?
A functional brace may be used to correct:
  • Very protruding upper front teeth,
  • Improve the way back teeth bite together
  • Improve your facial profile so that the jaws look more aligned with each other when you look at the face in profile.

A Twin Block functional brace is quite common, when you bite together with this brace in your mouth, the blocks on the braces fit together in a certain way that encourage your teeth to move into the correct bite.

What are the Advantages of Functional Appliances

Functional appliances, whether fixed or removable, are used to correct the bite. They allow for easier breathing and ultimately result in straighter teeth. Patients who receive this orthodontic treatment can often avoid surgery later in life and may also be able to avoid the need for braces entirely if their teeth are straight. If braces are required after the functional appliance treatment, the treatment time is often shorter.

Do Fixed / Metal Braces Hurt?

The actual fitting off the braces does not hurt at all but you may experience some discomfort and even slight toothache for the first few days after they’ve been fitted. Your teeth may feel loose and tender as the teeth begin to move into their new positions. This discomfort should be easily dealt with using painkillers, some prefer to eat softer foods for a few days after fitting. Sometimes parts of the brace can rub on the inside of your lips or cheeks and may require cushioning with special orthodontic wax that we give you here in Newpark Clinic.

How Long Will Treatment Take?

The exact length of treatment time can vary according to the extent of each person’s orthodontic issues. Most people will need to wear fixed or metal braces for at least a year and possibly much longer. Some people will need to wear these braces in excess of two years.

What about Eating, Drinking and Cleaning My Teeth?

It’s important to brush after every meal and to make sure you change your toothbrush regularly. You’ll need to use interdental brushes or floss to clean in between the parts of the brace, and you may be recommended to use fluoride treatments. Going to your regular family dentist for routine check ups and cleanings is very important throughout your time in braces.

If you're thinking of getting braces, book an appointment with our friendly team today.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.