Under-developed and lower jaw problems in children are correctable
Functional appliances, often referred to as ‘plates’, are commonly used in orthodontics to correct the relationship between the lower and upper jaws. Most often used to encourage the correct forward growth of an underdeveloped or retrusive (think opposite of obtrusive) lower jaw, the plates influence the growth of your child’s jaws, aiding them to grow correctly. The relationship between the upper and lower jaw affects the shape of the face, so having the jaw properly aligned is an important aesthetic consideration. Beyond aesthetics, properly aligned jaws allow us to chew correctly, which is a major aid to digestion and influences our digestive health for life. This means good jaw health and alignment is an important part of your child’s overall health, now and for their lifetime.
Is a functional appliance fixed or removable?
Functional appliances are available in both formats: fixed and removable. When the orthodontist detects an imbalance in the growth of your child’s jaws, the functional appliance is often the first phase of treatment. Commonly, this treatment is followed by braces to correct tooth alignment and create as close to an ideal bite as possible.
Are functional appliances really effective?
Their effectiveness is generally related to two simple factors:
- How quickly your child is growing
- How often they wear the appliance (if removable)