Removable Appliances

Functional Appliances

Some problems that orthodontic specialists are trained to deal with involve correcting jaw disharmonies using dentofacial orthopaedics. In growing patients, functional appliances can be used to put the jaws in balance, achieve good facial muscle function and create natural facial proportions. Functional appliances are available in many forms with different names. It is essential that orthodontic screening be done at an early age (7 or 8 years) to ensure that it is not too late to use functional appliances. These appliances can be designed to not only move teeth but also correct the alignment of the jaws which hold the teeth. The most common objective is to correct an underdeveloped lower jaw.

Functional appliances can sometimes be used alone to correct a problem but often correct treatment can only be provided by a combined approach using functional appliances as well as “Fixed” appliances. An orthodontic specialist is properly trained to diagnose your problem correctly and recommend the right treatment.

Some points to follow when you are wearing a functional appliance.

  1. The more time spent wearing your appliance, the faster you will get to your goal.
  2. If you get any sore spots on your gums, don’t try to adjust the appliance yourself, see your orthodontic specialist so it can be made comfortable.
  3. Be careful when you remove your appliance for eating and for brushing. Never wrap it in a napkin or put it in your pocket. It is best to keep it in the special case your orthodontic specialist provided with your name and address on the outside.
  4. While wearing your functional appliance, keep your lips together as much as possible. This will make the appliance work faster and it will not fall out at night.


The day your braces are removed will begin the retention stage of your treatment. This phase lasts for approximately 12 – 18 months, with periodic visits to adjust the retainers as necessary and monitor the final orthodontic result. It is important to follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.

  • You will need to wear your retainers full time (AM & PM), until Dr. Smith instructs otherwise. This is usually determined after 6 weeks.
  • Remove your retainers when eating and ALWAYS put retainers in their case when they are not in your mouth! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors.
  • Never let saliva dry on your retainers! Always rinse them off with water.
  • When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practicing speaking, reading, or singing out loud will help you get used to them faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately. Please put your molds in a safe place and bring them with you for repairs or replacement.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacement is expensive…with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove retainers when swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, microwave ovens, hungry pets and napkins.
  • A fixed wire is usually placed on the back of your lower front teeth to act as a retainer. As long as this retainer is attached to the teeth and intact, the lower teeth will remain aligned. In many cases, a similar wire will be placed on the back of the upper front teeth. This, along with your removable retainer, will keep your upper teeth aligned.
  • If part of either wire comes off, please contact our office.
  • Clear retainers can also be used for adults to provide a more esthetic solution.

To learn more about the many possibilities of orthodontic treatment for any member of your family or yourself, we invite you to schedule a personal consultation at our office today.

Contact Us Today to Book Your Next Orthodontic Appointment: (613) 544-4445 / / Contact us using the online form to the left of the page.