Removable appliances such as functional appliances, retainer, headgear can be removed from your mouth. These contain wire and plastic that fits into the top of your mouth. They are usually worn full-time. They should only be removed for cleaning, unless you are otherwise advised. When it is not in your mouth it should be in its protective box. Do not click the brace in and out with your tongue as this will break the wires and increase the length of time the treatment will take.
The problem with the removable appliances is that the plastic can chip. As long as the brace still fits this is not a problem. Sharp edges can be smoothed using fine sandpaper or an emery board. If a metal component breaks or if broken plastic is uncomfortable you must telephone for an appointment and probably you will need to make a new one.
The most commonly used removable appliance is the retainer.
1, Functional appliances:
A functional appliance is one of the removable braces that works on the upper and lower teeth at the same time. This moves the lower jaw a little and at the same time pulls the upper front teeth back.
The functional appliance must be worn as directed for approximately 12 to 18 months while the lower jaw is correctly altered.
You may experience some discomfort for a few days. If necessary take the correct dose of pain-killers. (Always read the instructions on the packet and never take medicines without first discussing with your parent or guardian). However, good wear produces good movement. This should average about 1 millimetre per month. Therefore, if your teeth protrude by ten millimetres, they should be fully retracted in about ten months.
Your speech may be different. You may also find some temporary swallowing difficulties. This is quite normal and will soon pass.
You may not be able to eat with your functional appliance in place. You will be advised about this. If you have been told to take it out for eating, make sure it is placed in a tough plastic box for safekeeping. For your orthodontic treatment to work well and in the shortest possible time it is important you wear your appliance. Its simple the more you wear it, the quicker it works.