FAQ: Twin-blocks

The Twin Block Appliance is used to align the upper and lower jaws of growing children and teenagers so that the jaws come together properly. It can also be used to widen the jaw to prevent overcrowding of teeth, when used with an 'expander' in the upper block. 



Q: What is an overjet?
A: Your top teeth should normally be in front of your bottom teeth by 2-4mm. This is called your overjet.


Q: What are Twin-Blocks?
A: Twin-Blocks are jaw aligning braces. It works by having a block which is placed into the upper palate (behind the upper teeth) and a second block that fits behind the front lower teeth. When the two parts come together they fit together in a position that corrects the jaw position. Normally the Twin Block Appliance is worn for 9-12 months prior to braces being fitted.


Q: When should the Twin-Blocks be worn?
A: Twin-Blocks work by harnessing the power of the chewing muscles and should be worn all the time. However, if at first you find your jaw gets tired, simply leave the brace out for a while and rest your mouth.
Put the brace in a safe place – they are expensive to replace. Speak to your Orthodontist or Dentist about purchasing a brace box.


Q: Should I eat whilst wearing Twin-Blocks?
A: Twin-Blocks are designed to allow you to eat with the braces in, but if you find this too difficult at first do not worry.


Q: Will taking my braces out to eat and rest my jaw at the start of wearing them upset my treatment?
A: Try to wear your braces all the time but taking them out to eat until you get used to them will not harm your treatment. Your teeth will still straighten only more slowly.


Q: How do I clean my teeth?
A: Remove the brace and clean your teeth as normal.


Q: How do I clean my brace?
A: It is very important to keep your brace clean and this is best done with a toothbrush. If you cannot brush after every meal at least rinse the brace with water. Talk to your Orthodontist or Dentist about a special cleaner for braces.


Q: Do I turn the screw?
A: The upper block usually has a screw fitted which you will need to turn. This should be turned once in the direction of the arrow on two days of the week e.g. Sunday and Thursday.


Q: What about sports?
A: It is best to take the braces out when playing sports.
Remember to put your name on your brace box.


Q: What about playing musical instruments?
A: It is best to remove your brace when playing certain musical instruments. Again store your brace safely.


Q: What happens if the brace breaks?
A: Sometimes the plastic or wire parts of the brace break. If you are still able to wear the brace, do so, but if not telephone your Orthodontist for an early appointment.


Q: So what happens if my teeth need to be straightened?
A: Since Twin-Blocks are jaw aligning braces, if the teeth themselves are crooked a fixed brace to correct your teeth will need to be fitted after the Twin-Block treatment.


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