Functional Appliances

You might be wondering when orthodontic treatment should start?

For some children, wearing braces is enough to give them a winning smile. But sometimes other orthodontic treatment is needed at an earlier stage.

Many problems with tooth alignment are the result of an imbalance in growth of the jaw bones.
For example, an overbite or ‘buck teeth’ can be caused either by a prominent upper jaw or a small lower jaw. In these cases, Dr Barber may recommend a twin block appliance for you to wear before your braces go on.

The twin block

The twin block appliance is a major new development in orthodontics which can help to normalise jaw growth when worn consistently during a growing phase. The ideal time is about age 10 to 12 when the bones are soft and pliable.

The appliance consists of two removable plates (one for the upper teeth, one for the lower teeth), sometimes with a headgear connected.

Removable Appliances

For some children with certain types of tooth problems, orthodontic treatment should be started before all the adult teeth have erupted.

So, if you’re having a removable appliance fitted (sometimes called a ‘plate’) you’ll be getting a head start on that winning smile!

Why do I need it?
Removable appliance treatment usually begins after the four upper front teeth have erupted (ages 7-9) and can be necessary when:

  • upper front teeth protrude
  • lower front teeth protrude
  • teeth are in crossbite
  • upper and /or lower arches are too narrow

The aim is to move your teeth into a position where they will be less prone to injury and to normalise jaw growth.