Children in their early teens might sometimes need functional appliances when normal braces (also sometimes called train track braces) will only fix one part of the problem: teeth alignment. A functional appliance is also a type of brace, but it has another function: it corrects ‘class II’ problems – bite problems; where growth needs to be guided. Functional appliances can be either removable or fixed and are made of plastic.
Orthodontic functional appliances correct problems where the top teeth bite over the lower teeth. Your child’s orthodontist will, after assessment with you present, advise you on whether a removable functional appliance or a fixed one would be best for your child’s specific needs. By and large removable functional appliances consist of an upper and lower part which interlocks in a way that it effectively aligns the lower jaw better. The other functional appliance type consists of one piece only, but it is less popular because it has been found to not adapt to the teeth as well as the two-part option.
At Angelakis orthodontics, we like to use 2 types of functional appliances:
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