Removable braces are usually plastic plates that cover the roof of the mouth and clip on to some teeth. They can only carry out very limited tooth movements.
Functional appliances are a pair of removable plastic braces that are joined together or designed to interact together and fit on to the upper and lower teeth. They can be used to treat problems with the position of the upper jaw and teeth, and the lower jaw and teeth.
Most people will need to wear them all of the time, apart from when cleaning them and while eating.
A third type of removable brace, retainers, are very often used near the end of a course of orthodontic treatment when the fixed braces are removed. Retainers hold newly fixed teeth in place while the surrounding gum and bone adjusts to the new position of the teeth. Retainers can either be removable or fixed.
Under the NHS, your child’s specialist orthodontist is responsible for their care for 12 months after normal treatment ends.
We will advise your child when to wear their retainer and it’s likely there will be some tooth movement should they stop wearing it.
Changes in the position of teeth can continue throughout life and are part of the normal ageing process — following orthodontic treatment very often the only way to guarantee permanently straight teeth is to wear a retainer on a part-time basis for life.