At Ipswich Orthodontics, it’s our job to determine if you could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Once we examine your smile, we may recommend treating you with a functional appliance before pursuing comprehensive treatment.
What are functional appliances?
Functional appliances are fixed or removable orthodontic appliances designed to align your jaws to provide space for your teeth to straighten. They are usually used as a pre-treatment before braces or aligners.
At Ipswich Orthodontics, we offer a number of removable functional appliances to shape your smile. They are generally used for simple tooth movements, or to correct the bite - like the Twin Block Appliance.
Even though these appliances are removable, they must be worn exactly as instructed by Dr Hamilton-Ritchie to ensure the proper results.
Best practices include:
Wearing your appliance at all times, even when eating (unless directed otherwise)
Removing your appliance for swimming, contact sports, and cleaning
Putting your appliance in its case when not in use (not your pocket or a tissue!)
Keeping your appliance out of the reach of pets (they will eat them!)
The rapid maxillary expansion appliance
We also offer a fixed functional appliance called the rapid maxillary expansion appliance. This custom device is designed to widen your upper jaw. A space may open between your front teeth but don’t worry; this space will close after expansion has completed.
Once fitte, the rapid maxillary expansion appliance is very easy to take care of. You should:
Brush frequently: Make sure you keep your teeth clean at all times and rinse with water when you can’t brush. It’s easy for food and plaque to build up around the bands of your appliance if you aren’t careful.
Turn your plate regularly: Dr Hamilton-Ritchie will instruct you on how and when to turn your plate. tNormally, it’s every second day for the first week, and then every day afterward. Make sure you turn it at the same time each day to ensure regular expansion.
Remember: one full turn = when the hole appears at the top of the arrow. Each time it is turned you will feel a little pressure, but can take a Panadol or aspirin for any discomfort as needed.
Avoid sticky foods: Sticky foods can pull the bands off your teeth and get stuck in the plate, so avoid them while wearing your appliance. If the bands become loose, contact us straight away so we can schedule an appointment to fix them.
Attend regular appointments: We will schedule appointments to monitor the progress of your jaw expansion. Make sure to attend all your scheduled appointments.
Practise talking: Your speech may be slightly affected when you are first fitted with your appliance, but this will improve with practise. Talk to yourself in the mirror, speak with friends and family, and soon your mouth will adjust.
Find out more at your consultation!
Book your consultation with Ipswich Orthodontics today to see if functional appliances are the first step towards your dream smile.