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Functional education gutter: role and maintenance

Functional education gutter: role and maintenance

A functional mouthpiece is usually prescribed to be worn at night and at certain times of the day only. It prevents the child from breathing through the mouth and guides the eruption of the teeth by helping the tongue to position itself properly.

If the mouthpiece is removable, it is important to know how to use and maintain it in order to optimize the treatment.

The role of functional education in orthodontics

Functional orthodontics treats the cause of orthodontic problems. These problems can sometimes have unsuspected repercussions on health.

The most common consequences are:

  • Poor breathing through the nose,
  • Poor chewing,
  • A bad positioning of the tongue.

In which cases is functional rehabilitation indicated?

The appliances used in functional orthodontics help to correct bad breathing, chewing, posture and swallowing habits such as

  • Mouth breathing and snoring,
  • Late thumb sucking,
  • Persistent swallowing in children.

Poor breathing through the nose can slow growth, disrupt sleep and lead to poor spinal posture.

In addition, poor swallowing and tongue malposition lead to jaw deformation and malpositioned teeth.

Ultimately, if these malfunctions are not corrected, the risks are:

  • Teeth that grow forward,
  • Jaws that don't close properly,
  • Jaws that have a transverse offset,
  • Too narrow a jawbone,
  • Overlapping teeth,
  • Speech problems.

The goal of functional education in orthodontics is to free the growth of the face and jaw.

The importance of functional rehabilitation in children

Unlike rehabilitation, functional education requires early action. While acting later leads to the use of mechanical devices (braces) to correct deformities.

The goal of functional education is to balance the dental corridor between the lips, cheeks and tongue to promote more harmonious facial growth.

It is a matter of considering the dentition as any other element of the body requiring a good functional education.

In addition, despite treatment, recurrences are frequent if the functional cause of the deformity has not been corrected.

Functional education trays: wearing and maintenance

Principle of operation of the gutters

Functional education in orthodontics generally involves the use of soft aligners. They are one-piece, removable and made of silicone or polyurethane.

This type of device is usually formed :

  • A tongue guide, which, as its name indicates, guides the tongue towards the palate,
  • Bumpers that are used to strengthen the lips,
  • A double mouthpiece that contributes to good dental growth and facilitates breathing through the nose.

When to wear the gutters?

The functional education trays are worn during the day at home and at night to sleep. During the day, children can wear them while watching TV, playing or doing homework.

The device is worn by placing the teeth inside the aligners without biting them. It is also necessary not to speak while wearing it.

If the child tends to lose the mouthpiece during the night, it is advisable to intensify its use during the day.

Simple breathing and tongue positioning exercises usually accompany the use of the mouthpiece.

Maintenance of functional educational gutters

The device can be brushed with a toothbrush and toothpaste once a day. It is also advisable to dry it well before putting it back in its box.

In conclusion

The major functions of breathing and swallowing may require additional treatment. Most of the time, this involves osteopathy and speech therapy.

To find out if your child needs a functional education tray, it is advisable to consult a pedodentist. Only he or she will be able to make a diagnosis and prescribe the use of a functional education device if necessary.

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Pediatric dentistry is all about working together for the well-being of your children!


Do you have a question? Dr. Adriana Agachi is at your disposal!

+33 (0)1 84 17 77 47

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