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How We Align the Jaws

Functional Appliances

In order to align the teeth, it is important that the upper and lower jaws match each other in size.

Functional appliances are removable appliances that clip onto the teeth. They exert gentle forces that utilize muscle pull to re-direct the growth of the jaws to improve profile and that alignment of the jaws.


The growth of the lower jaw is not keeping pace with the upper jaw (arrow). As a result, the lower jaw is too far back and the teeth will not bite together properly.

The lower jaw has been

repositioned to a more forward position improving the profile. It is now possible to align the teeth so that they bite together ideally.

This growth modification was accomplished using Twin Blocks. Twin Blocks are functional appliances that encourage a more forward posture of the lower jaw. The mild muscle pull generated changes the growth pattern of the lower jaw.

The upper appliance has a “block of acrylic that covers the upper molars

The lower “block covers the primary molars

Twin Blocks in the mouth with the patient biting now in a forward position.

Twin Blocks are one example of a functional appliance. There are many more appliances that produce different movements depending on the modification desired.