Twin blocks or functional appliances can be used to correct receding jaws, goofy teeth or excess overjet. The appliance is made up of two blocks of plastic which encourage teeth and jaws to grow in a certain way. The treatment is usually used for growing patients.
Functional appliances are devices which are used to correct the bite. They are so called because you can function when they are in the mouth. The twin block derives its name from the split nature of the device, in which you have an upper block and a lower block which fit together like twins. These are much more comfortable than the mono-block appliances which were used in the good old days! When you bite, the blocks fit together in a certain way that encourages your jaws to grow into the correct biting position (they are mainly used in growing patients). It is one of the fastest and most effective methods to correct receding jaws, goofy teeth or excess overjet.
Twin blocks can be taken out of the mouth for cleaning or when you want to eat certain foods. Much like the removable appliance discussed earlier, when initially fitted there is an adaptation period of up to three days where your mouth may produce more saliva. If you persevere with wearing this brace it will soon become un-noticeable and feel more comfortable, in fact you will probably feel strange when not wearing it!
To make sure you have a short adaptation period you will need to wear the appliance for the minimum number of hours specified by your orthodontist. For the brace to work correctly the blocks on your brace have to meet together properly at all times – walking around with your mouth open and the blocks not in contact is not a great idea.
The way in which this appliance works and also how quickly it works relies solely on your commitment to the treatment plan specified by your orthodontist.
How long will it take?
Twin blocks or functional treatments can take anywhere between 6 to 12 months to produce the desired effects. The orthodontist might recommend a course of fixed braces for a further period to refine the results.
Reasons to take your twin blocks out:
- When taking part in physical contact sports, i.e. rugby, football, hockey because you will need to wear a sports guard.
- When swimming - to avoid losing your brace whilst in the water.
- Cleaning of the brace must be done after every meal. We advise that you purchase a cleaning pack from your orthodontic practice, and only use recommended cleaning products on the brace.