What are Functional Braces?
Functional braces are a removable type of brace known as a twin block, removed only for cleaning. They are worn over both the upper and lower teeth.
Functional treatment is often used to help patients improve jaw relationships, to match up upper and lower teeth, improve the child’s ‘bite’ and regulate facial appearance, whilst also treating misaligned teeth.
What are early expanders?
Sometimes removable expanders will also be used to widen narrow jaws, preparing the mouth for the erupting adult teeth and helping to create space so these teeth can be accommodated in the arches. We can often use expanders that are fixed at the same time as the braces for a more efficient treatment.
What are fixed braces?
Traditional fixed braces consist of brackets, which are fixed or bonded to the cheek – or buccal – side of the teeth. They are then joined together using a metal wire. Then rubber bands, colourful if your child wishes, are attached to each individual bracket holding the wire firmly in place. It is the gradual force created by the wire that moves the teeth into their correct position. The coloured bands can be changed at each visit, adjustments are every 6-8 weeks.
Are they right for my child?
Removable expanders and functional braces have the best results when fitted to girls aged 11-13 and boys aged 12-14. In more severe cases these are fitted from 8 years upwards. We can sometimes add a section of fixed braces alongside the functional brace to aid the efficiency of treatment.