Functional Braces in South Kensington

Functional braces are bespoke removable braces made from acrylic (hard plastic) and wire. They are used to tip teeth and reposition the lower jaw in order to correct goofy teeth due to an imbalance in jaw size.

They are used primarily for children who are still growing. They are particularly useful to start treatment of children who still have baby teeth left.

Although a number of different types of functional braces exist, they largely do the same thing. Some are worn full time (Twin Blocks) and some part time (eg Medium Opening Activator; Frankel Appliance).

Sometimes functional braces are used together with fixed braces, but more commonly, they are used prior to treatment with fixed braces.

Using A Variety Of Different Appliances

When a functional brace is the most suitable form of treatment, one of a variety of different appliances may be used. Please see just three of the functional braces which we use during treatment below:

Medium Opening Activator
Medium Opening Activator
Twin Block Appliance
Twin Block Appliance
Frankel Appliance
Frankel Appliance
Before Before
After After
Before Before
After After

Case 1: Large overjet due to short lower jaw, causing lower lip trapping and proclination of the upper incisors


This 10-year-old boy had a short lower jaw, which meant that his lower lip (which is a band of muscle) was trapped behind his upper central incisors, causing them to be tipped forwards (proclined), with a prominence (overjet) of 11mm.


There are many ways of tackling this problem. However, the different brace types essentially have the same aim, which is to reposition the lower lip in front of the upper central incisors, where it can tip the upper incisors backwards, reduce the overjet and become a natural retainer. As he had lots of baby (deciduous) teeth that were going to fall out during his orthodontic treatment, we decided to use a Capped Frankel 2, functional appliance (brace), made from acrylic and stainless-steel wire, that minimally covered the tooth surfaces, worn for 12 hours a day, mostly whilst sleeping and only in the privacy of his home. This meant the deciduous teeth could fall out without making the brace unwearable, ensuring his orthodontic treatment could continue without interruption as his adult teeth erupted. Over a 20-month period, he diligently wore the brace at night and was rewarded with great success, as his overjet reduced from 11mm to 4mm. He may not need to have any further orthodontic treatment when his adult teeth erupt fully, as his teeth are straight, and his bite is looking good.

Do you want your child to be assessed by a specialist orthodontist?

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