The purpose of a block appliance, also called an activator, is to stimulate the growth of your lower jaw and to slow down the growth of the upper jaw. The inhibition of the growth of the upper jaw is done with an outboard brace that you click into the activator.

After treatment, your jaws will fit together better, allowing you to use your mouth, teeth and molars better and your lower lip will no longer be between your front teeth. Your appearance will also change.

The activator strengthens the muscles attached to your lower jaw stronger. In the beginning, you will feel some muscle pain. When the muscles have become strong enough, they will hold the lower jaw in the new correct position; only then can the lower jaw start to grow (through bone formation at the jaw joint). A T-appliance works well if it is worn (approximately) 14 hours a day.

You can leave it off during meals, just as you can when doing sports and brushing. Make sure you keep the brace in the appropriate box. Make sure that your braces and the box are clean and dry, otherwise, they will start to smell a bit musty.

This activator lies more or less loose in the mouth. It is only when you put the outboard brace on that it sits firmly. There is no need to tighten the outboard brace every time; that just makes it less effective! When you bite into the appliance, you have to do it in a completely different way than you are used to. Swallowing and talking will also be completely different. This is exactly what is meant to happen. Of course, in the beginning, you have to get used to your activator.

Many patients are troubled by the following issues in the beginning:

  • much more saliva production (maximum two days); don’t slurp, just swallow your saliva;
  • a feeling of fatigue and pain in the masseter muscles (up to four days);
  • difficulty speaking and also slurring (usually a week).

As a rule, these complaints do not last long; the better you wear the activator, the faster they disappear. In the beginning, there may also be sharp edges on the appliance, and these can lead to small blisters in the mouth. These generally go away by themselves within two days. If not, try to keep wearing the braces and give us a call; we will then adjust the appliance slightly.

The activator may fall out of your mouth while you are sleeping, but this problem will usually go away after a while.

Take good care of the activator. Brush the appliance at least three times a week with toothpaste or (green) soap and a separate brush. If deposits form on the appliance, you can clean it with a denture brush once a month at most. If necessary, cleaning vinegar can be used more often than once a month; rinse the dentures well after cleaning.