Sometimes, discrepancies in jaw growth can be identified at a very early age. In these cases, your orthodontist may recommend the use of a functional appliance to help modify jawbone growth. Functional appliances are typically removable appliances that use a combination of acrylic and wires to help promote the growth of one or both jawbones in one or more directions. A common example of a functional appliance is the Twin Block™ appliance, which is used to promote the forward growth and/or positioning of the lower jaw and will sometimes be adapted to increase the width of the upper jaw. Other examples of functional appliances are the Bionator and Frankel appliances.
Removable acrylic appliances include a broad variety of orthodontic appliances. They are often used to correct simple cases of misaligned teeth and to slowly widen the upper jaw. Your orthodontist will let you know if a removable appliance will work to correct your problem.
During your treatment, orthodontists will also use a variety of other appliances to help correct the alignment of your teeth and bite. A few examples of orthodontic auxiliaries are elastics (rubber bands), bite turbos, springs, coils, expanders and tongue tamers, but there are many others. Your orthodontist will explain what each of these is for and how to use them.