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Advice about twin block functional brace

(16 Posts)
madhairday Mon 10-Feb-14 13:58:02

DD (13) is having this fitted on Friday, for a 12mm overbite. She will apparently need it for 9-12 months, then the fixed train tracks for a further year to two years. She's a thumbsucker and her teeth are all over the place. She seems bizarrely excited about it (one of her best friends has a twin block so that helps) but I'd like to be prepared.

Have any of your dc had these, and how were they the first week or so? Do you think she will need the day off school (having it fitted in the morning)? - I've heard it causes a lot of pain and discomfort at first. Also, do your dc tend to take them out to eat or have they learned to eat with them in? DD's orthodontist said that she will need to wear it 20 hours at least to get the best effect, but should take it out for sports and flute playing.

I'm a little worried - she is dyspraxic and one of her symptoms is the need to suck and chew everything in sight and with this, not only will she not be able to suck her thumb anymore but also things like pen lids which she does without knowing could damage it. But obviously I can't police her all day.

Any advice/experiences?

kitkat1967 Mon 10-Feb-14 14:03:28

DD had one for a 11mm overbite and ended up wearing it for 6 months all the time and 6 months at night only. It worked amazingly well and she was very good about wearing it but the first few days were awful with lots of tears.
After that it was generally OK but she never managed to speak clearly and basically refused to speak in class for the 6 months (others do manage better).
She then had train tracks for 12 months and has the most perfect set of teeth. We were initally given the same timescales as you so I think they give the worst case scenario. Oh - she took them out to eat, for sport and to play the oboe - she was just 11 when she had it fitted.
Soon I'll have to do it all over again with DS!!

madhairday Mon 10-Feb-14 18:31:00

Thanks kitkat, good to hear it was such a success in the end.

Mrsmorton Mon 10-Feb-14 20:09:26

There was quite a long thread about this a few months back. Have you tried doing a search bcse I remember lots o people putting their experiences on there and as it ran for a while, I think some posters came back to update us on their experience.

They are tough to start with but they are brilliant.

morchoxplz Mon 10-Feb-14 20:40:05

Very similar to kitkat. My DD14 had one recently - in Nov 13. She really hated it at first but with a 7mm overbite and very petite features she knew she needed it and was motivated to persist. The first 48 hours were the worst and I was scouring posts on here to find reassurance. I cried once she had gone to bed and almost told her not to wear the thing but now I am so glad I was firm and matter of fact but supportive in my approach.
Here are the worst issues:
Dribbling- the mouth 'sees' the brace as food and produces copious amounts of saliva to 'digest it'. She was very conscious of trying not to spit at people when talking and even dribbling. This resolved massively within 24 hours and completely within 48 hours.
Pain- the blocks will only align (i.e fit together and allow the mouth to be closed) when the bottom pair are in front of the top pair. This effectively forces the lower jaw forwards to give a better profile. This was unimaginably hard at first but again she got used to it quickly. I gave her a dose (or max 2) doses of ibuprofen to help with this discomfort and she did not mention it after that.
Eating- she only removes it for food. So wears it for 23 hours per day. (no contact sports or musical instruments are played) We were alarmed by the way her bite changed very soon after she started wearing it- as her back teeth didnt meet! She made a minor fuss about this for a week or so and we stuck to soft stuff but then she became more adept at managing harder stuff and now manages anything. Orthodontist said that bite changes are normal as all teeth realign (the molars included) -she likened it to fastening the buttons on a shirt- so dont worry too much.
Speech-pretty difficult at first but she has improved. She is not perfect by any means but I rarely have to ask her to repeat something. I guess some sounds are impossible with so much plastic in your mouth. She passed her french speaking exam last week with 90%!!!
School. My DD is in yr 10 as she was late loosing her baby teeth and school is pretty important at the moment. I took her back to school for her final 2 lessons after the appointment. It was hard for her but there was no break time to be negotiated just the lessons and bus ride home. She'd warned her friends and teachers prior to the appointment who were all kind and she was not asked to speak out in class which she was dreading. Having gone in straight afterwards it was easier to go in the next day as it was old news by then.
The Effect. Wow! this is the good bit. We went back for a check up last week (12 weeks approx since fitting) and her overbite has reduced from 7 to 2.5mm the orthodontist was delighted with this. We need to continue to June and then into fixed train tracks I believe. Visually the appearance is so encouraging that we are very reassured that things are going the right way.
On the day she had it she pleaded with me not to make her wear it on Xmas day... I was non committal. When Xmas day came she did not mention it and when we remembered we laughed that she had not wanted to wear it and now she is so used to it.

Mrsmorton Mon 10-Feb-14 22:08:38

Great post morchox

EllieFredrickson Mon 10-Feb-14 22:38:45

I'd emphasise how hard the first few days are (sorry) but how quickly they get used to it. DD (13) had one for about 6 months that she wore all day and night taking out for eating and playing the clarinet. She didn't like it but could see that the more she wore it the quicker the process would be.

Was really tight the first few days and she struggled to get it in and out and to sleep and speak but within 3-4 days so much better.

DD then had 4 adult teeth removed (2 at a time - quite a thing when you have to be brave mum in the room with her!) and is now on the fixed brace. DD reckons this is easier and I agree - no taking in and out, sterilising etc and the difference in her mouth - even though we aren't there yet is amazing. So the twin blocks are the worst bit in our view.

I felt like a horrible mum in the first few days but it has been well worth it. Emphasize that it gets done only if they think necessary to avoid problems when older and that it doesn't work so well on adults.

madhairday Tue 11-Feb-14 11:15:48

Mrsmorton thanks, I will do a search smile

morchox thankyou so much, that is such helpful information, and delighted to hear how well your dd is getting on, and what a difference it has made already - that's amazing! Also encouraging to hear that they can work just as well on children that are already 13/14 - some people have said that is a bit too late, but with dd they were waiting for all her baby teeth to go and adult teeth to come in (she had to have 4 removed in the end) - Good to hear she coped with school as well, dd does want to go in that day, but I just wanted to check to see if it would be possible. I guess we'll see how she is doing at the time. She will then have half term to recover a bit and get used to it, which is good timing!

Ellie don't be sorry, it's good to be prepared for how difficult things are going to be, and get me prepared to be tough and firm! Out of interest, with the clarinet playing did you find that as her jaw shape changed it made any difference to how she played? Some have said that dd's flute playing may suffer as her jaw is pulled forward.

Many thanks for your replies.

EllieFredrickson Tue 11-Feb-14 15:50:30


Hard to say about the clarinet as she got the twin blocks about the same time as a new (more expensive) clarinet and a better (more expensive) teacher! I think any effects are relatively short-lived as they adapt how they play. So much so that the next fixed brace tightening is the day before the big annual school concert in March and she isn't remotely concerned.

I did ask what she thought and she said that another clarinet player had found it tougher than her and taken a bit longer to adapt their playing.

Mrsmorton Tue 11-Feb-14 16:24:41

They adapt so very quickly. I think expectation management is the key. If you say it will be sore and dribbly then any better is a bonus. If you say it will be fine then it's a surprise when it's hard and it's all the more miserable.

madhairday Thu 13-Feb-14 14:34:20

Thanks Ellie - we'll have to see how she goes with the flute.

Thanks Mrsmorton - yes I have tried to play up how bad it will be, she thinks it will all be fine and dandy and wants to go to school and eat sandwiches, but I've given her a bit of a reality check. Anyway, it's tomorrow morning so I'll update how she gets on. Thanks all.

morchoxplz Fri 14-Feb-14 19:03:03

How did it go? Remember the first couple of days are by far the worst. Xxx

madhairday Mon 17-Feb-14 12:04:06

It's going really well so far, thanks, much less stressful than I thought it would be. She is managing to wear it all the time apart from meals at present. She is a little sore but hardly any complaints. In some ways her dyspraxia works with her here as she doesn't feel pain very much, so we have to watch for ulcers forming etc as she doesn't necessarily know. She is finding speech difficult and dribbling a lot but is very positive about it. I wasn't expecting it to push her jaw so much forward immediately, it changes her face, but not for the bad iyswim. We have to go back for the first check in 8 weeks time.

EllieFredrickson Mon 17-Feb-14 16:40:47

Excellent news. We didn't seem to suffer with too many ulcers. Our latest excitement is fixed brace seemingly setting off airport security check so DD needed a 'pat down.' Bit surprised as Heathrow and Canada in the summer no problems!

morchoxplz Mon 17-Feb-14 18:11:47

So glad all well. What have they recommended for ulcers?

madhairday Tue 18-Feb-14 19:39:08

They just said bonjela or anything generic like that. We've not had to use any so far smile

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