Twin Block/Functional Appliance Instructions
What is a Functional/Twin Block appliance?
A Functional/Twin block appliance is used in your treatment to move your teeth and jaws. This is done with the assistance of the muscles in your face. The brace holds your lower jaw forward, which in time improves the profile of your face. The distance the teeth stick out is called the over jet and in time this will also be reduced. These results can only be achieved by wearing the brace all of the time, so it is a big responsibility on your part!
What to expect?
We will be honest with you throughout your treatment. This is not the easiest brace to wear and does take some perseverance. The muscles on the sides of your face are being used to their full potential so at the beginning of treatment they may feel sore. After the first week the strain on your muscles will fade and you will get used to the brace. At first you will also find that your speech will be affected. The twin block appliance is quite bulky as the picture shows: When you are wearing it the blocks fit together and it is not so bulky in the mouth.
The picture below show the two parts of the brace together and the brace in the position it will be in when it is inside your mouth.
It will feel like you have a mouth full of plastic but over time you will adapt. A good tip is to read a book or magazine out loud to get use to speaking with the appliance in, you will soon come to grips with it! Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it?
Wear and tear!
We will teach you how to put the appliance in and take it out, making sure you are 100% confident at this. You need to wear the functional appliance for as many hours as possible, so this means you sleep in it as well. Please try eating in the brace as this would prove beneficial as we use our muscles a lot when we eat! However, we appreciate it is a bulky brace so if you struggle, take it out. Make sure you purchase a box for it and put it back in when you have finished eating. Remove the brace when you brush your teeth and if you play any contact sports.
Length of time…….
The length of time a twin block is worn is usually 9 months; this can vary in individuals as we are all different.
How to clean the appliance!
A good tip for cleaning the appliance is to fill up the sink with a little water, scrub the appliance with your toothbrush and a little toothpaste (so do it after you brush your teeth). That way if you accidentally drop the brace it will land in the water and won’t break.Recent research shows removable appliances and retainers can become contaminated with bacteria and yeast organisms; therefore, we continue to recommend that patients use an ultrasonic cleaner and retainer brite to remove bacteria and other organisms from the surface of the appliance. Both are available at reception.
What to do if you break or lose your functional appliance?
The NHS will only provide you with 1 functional appliance. They are expensive and difficult to repair. Make sure you look after them – they are your responsibility!
If you have any questions or concerns about this appliance or any part of your treatment, please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff, we are all here to help you.
Hinckley practice: 01455 234758
Rugby practice: 01788 572338
Nuneaton practice: 02476 353450