Your functional brace is designed to begin working quickly. The following information will help you achieve the best quality result while ensuring your treatment does not take too long. Your progress will be assessed regularly by your orthodontist, but it is important that you still see your dentist for regular check-ups.
What is a functional appliance?
A functional appliance is a removable brace that works on the upper and lower teeth at the same time with the aim of reducing the amount of overlap between the teeth (stop them sticking out!)
Most, but not all, functional appliance have two removable halves (upper and lower). In order to work both parts need to be worn together at all times. You should ensure the lower jaw is postured forwards and you are biting together with lips touching, so that the plastic blocks engage.
How much do I need to wear the brace?
For your treatment to work it is important you wear the functional brace 22 out of 24 hours every day taking them out for eating, cleaning and contact sports. With the correct amount of wear the speed of improvement can be dramatic and the overall time needed to wear the brace reduced.
If you don’t wear the brace enough then no progress will be made and treatment won’t work. When you do take the brace out to eat or play sport make sure to keep it safe in a box and out of the way of pets.
Will it be painful?
It is likely to be uncomfortable for about 3 - 5 days as the teeth, mouth and muscles adapt. If necessary, painkillers such as the ones you would normally take for a headache, may help (please read the instructions on the packet). If there is an obvious area of soreness ring for an appointment. If possible, do not stop wearing the brace.
How long will I need to wear the brace?
The total length of treatment varies but rarely exceeds 12 months. The more you wear your brace the faster your treatment will progress.
How often will I need an appointment?
About every 8 weeks.
How else might it affect me?
Your speech will be different. Wear the brace full time and practice speaking with it in place e.g. read aloud at home to help you get used to the brace. Your speech will return to normal within a couple of days. You may also find yourself swallowing a lot to begin with. This is quite normal and will quickly pass.
What about tooth brushing and cleaning the brace?
It is important you brush well three times a day and use a fluoride toothpaste. If possible carry a brush with you for use after lunch. Take the brace out to clean your teeth.
You should gently brush and rinse the brace, taking care not to damage the wires. You can purchase brace cleaning tablets from reception.
What do I do if my brace breaks?
Ring up for an appointment as soon as is reasonably possible. Do not wait for your next routine appointment as the breakage may slow your treatment, or may result in damage to your teeth. If you repeatedly break your brace treatment may be stopped. Avoid clicking the brace in and out repeatedly as this weakens and breaks it, extending your treatment.
Please remember there will be a charge for lost appliances or appliances damaged beyond repair.
Do I still need to see my regular dentist?
Yes. It is important you still have check-ups with your regular dentist throughout orthodontic treatment so that your teeth can be checked for decay and other problems.