Functional appliances


Functional appliances are a group of braces that correct bite issues where the top front teeth protrude in front of the bottom front teeth.

These braces work to bring the lower teeth forward and the upper teeth back simultaneously. As the jaw is encouraged to move as well as the teeth, these braces achieve much more movement than standard fixed braces.

Types of functional appliances

The most popular type of functional brace is the ‘Twin Block’ removable brace. These removable braces are worn on both the upper and lower arches and work together to achieve a large amount of movement. It is not uncommon to correct bite discrepancies of up to 14mm.

At Salisbury Orthodontics, we also offer a more aesthetic alternative. The Hudson InCligner does away with the acrylic palate used in the more conventional functional brace, making it a more comfortable option.

Fixed functional braces are attached to your fixed braces and, because they cannot be removed, they work continuously to reduce the prominence of your upper teeth. We use Powerscope fixed functional appliances which have proven to be extremely discrete, reliable and comfortable to wear.

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When are functional braces needed?

While anyone can benefit from orthodontic treatment of this kind at any age, it is generally accepted that it works best for young teenagers. Functional appliances are most successful during the adolescent growth spurt, so between the ages of 12-14 for boys and 11-13 for girls.

Your child’s dentist will usually notice any bite issues during their check-up and will carry out an orthodontic need assessment. If they note a significant overbite, they will recommend your child see a specialist orthodontist.

Significant bite issues are worth correcting. We understand that it can be daunting for young people to be faced with having orthodontic treatment, but there is lots of evidence to show that it has a positive impact on their self-esteem. As well as improving the appearance of your teeth, functional appliances can also improve speech and eating.

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