Every person is an individual and everybody’s growth spurt is different. Growth of your jaws is an important consideration during your orthodontic treatment. Much of your jaw growth is genetically determined, just like the colour of your eyes, or how tall you grow. Functional braces are a form of removable orthodontic braces that is used to help correct jaw alignment, particularly an underdeveloped lower jaw. This type of treatment is most effective during a growth spurt.
Functional braces work by restricting the forward growth of the upper jaw, and can tip the lower teeth forwards and the upper teeth back. Specific important patient selection criteria must be met in order for functional braces to be used successfully. These include:
- The timing of treatment as it relates to the pubertal growth status
- The number of adult and baby teeth present in the mouth
- The presence of a history of jaw discrepancies in the family
- The compliance and motivation to wear the braces appropriately
Functional braces aligns the jaws but not the teeth, therefore it is considered to be a “first phase” treatment prior to the full orthodontic treatment or braces to align the teeth correctly.
The Benefits of Functional Braces
- Reduced need for extractions
- Help with jaw alignment
- Compatible with fixed braces
- Custom made for greater effectiveness
- Permanently corrects your overjet and overbite