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How long to wear a twin block?

Updated February 21, 2017

As with any orthodontic appliance, the use of a twin block helps to align the jaw to create the ideal bite. While appliances may not always be comfortable, wearing them as directed can keep treatment on track. If you ever experience discomfort with your twin block, have your orthodontist make adjustments.

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What is a Twin Block?

An orthodontic appliance to correct jaw alignment and bite, the twin block is made up of two plates that are worn on the upper and lower teeth. Blocks on the plate direct the jaw to come forward, so that the teeth are aligned properly. Nine- to 15-year-olds generally wear a twin block before they get braces, because it is an effective method for jaw realignment. As the twin block pulls the lower jaw forward, it aligns teeth and creates a better profile for the individual wearing it.

Once the orthodontist has determined that the jaw is properly aligned, an individual may stop wearing it. For those who have crooked or spaced teeth, braces are often the next step.

When to Wear a Twin Block?

To keep treatment moving along, it is important to wear the twin block full time. The appliance must be worn day and night so that the jaw is constantly being aligned properly. If the individual plays sports, the twin block may be taken off and returned once the competition is over.

Orthodontists also suggest wearing the twin block during meals, so that the jaw can align itself while in motion. Once a meal is over, the appliance should be rinsed with water or cleansed with a toothbrush and toothpaste to remove any food.

After the Twin Block

Once the orthodontist has determined if the jaw is close to being aligned, he or she may allow an individual to use a retainer to continue easing the jaw into place. The retainer would be used for minor adjustments and worn on the upper jaw.

Wearing any type of orthodontic appliance may cause muscle, teeth and jaw ache for a short period after initial wearing or adjustments. Aches usually go away within a few days, but in the meantime, take aspirin to relieve discomfort. At the beginning of use, speech may be affected while the individual gets used to having the twin block, but the wearer should be accustomed to it within a few days.

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