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Also known as orthopaedic braces, a functional brace is worn on the upper and lower teeth at the same time in order to correct the way upper and lower teeth fit over each other. For example a functional brace may be used to correct very protruding upper or lower front teeth, improve the way molar teeth bite together, or even improve your facial profile so that the jaws look more aligned with each other when you look at the face in profile.
How do they work?
Functional braces work best in growing children and adolescents. It is evident that functional braces deliver their effects in a combination of ways. They may promote or modify growth of the jaws, adapt the soft tissues and muscles of the face to new positions, move whole groups of teeth at the same time or change the angulation of teeth.
How long do they take?
Treatment with functional braces usually takes between 9-12 months. You need to attend for regular appointments so that your brace is adjusted and your tooth movements are checked.
Why haven’t fixed braces been used instead?
Different braces have different functions. Treatment sometimes involves wearing functional braces which act to bring about specific changes which fixed braces may not be very efficient at achieving. Treatment with functional braces is usually (but not always) followed (or occasionally preceded) by fixed brace treatment.