Functional treatment is the use of guiding elastics and a regimen of active mobilization. Some authors explain that the period of active movements with the elastic guidance could be for as long as 3 months. The guiding elastics are initially used full time and the patient is slowly weaned off them. Any elastics are removed for eating.
After a few weeks, many patients only require them at night and during the day they can be omitted. The purpose of guiding elastics is to allow the patient to bite into their proper occlusal relationship. As few elastics as necessary should be used because another goal is the maintenance of good mobility of the jaw.
Mastication will also be part of the functional therapy and an initial soft diet should be progressed to an increasingly consistent diet as tolerated or depending on the severity of the symptoms and the stability of the occlusion.