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How to handle braces emergencies
Twin block appliance
The twin block appliance is a functional appliance that is used to push the lower jaw forward in order to align it with the upper jaw. It is called a “twin block” appliance because there are two parts to the appliance - the upper part and the lower part - that work in tandem. The two parts have the appearance of plastic blocks. When you bite, the blocks fit together in such a way as to position the lower jaw forward. Over time, the lower jaw will permanently stay in this position.
The twin block appliance looks like acrylic blocks or pads that cover the upper molars and the lower bicuspids. (These pads are usually clear in colour, or pink.) These pads interlock in such a way as to encourage the upper and lower jaws to form a properly aligned bite.
Used with children and teens
The twin block appliance is usually used with children and teens whose bones are still growing. Typically, after the twin block appliance is removed, braces are put on.
Temporary side effects
Just as with any new dental appliance, your mouth may at first produce more saliva in response to the new object in your mouth. This is because your mouth thinks it is food and therefore produces more saliva in an attempt to dissolve it. This should go away within a few weeks.
The twin block appliance is generally more comfortable than other functional appliances that correct overbites because there are fewer wires. The appliance also allows the patient to eat and speak normally. Although twin block appliances are removable, they are comfortable enough to be worn full-time for approximately 9-12 months. The upper arch appliance can also be slowly expanded to widen the upper arch.
One of the benefits of the twin block appliance is that it is completely removable. You may remove your appliance for swimming or for contact sports. We recommend you wear the appliance at least 18 hours per day and always while sleeping. This will allow your treatment to progress effectively.
Easy to clean
Because the twin block appliance is completely removable it is easy to keep clean. Simply remove your appliance once a day and brush it with your regular toothbrush. You may also remove the appliance immediately after eating and rinse it.
Your twin block appliance will be adjusted on a monthly basis by your orthodontist.
Most patients will see quick results after the twin block appliance is put in and can expect a beautifully aligned bite that is permanent after only 9-12 months.