When the top and bottom braces are often fitted, patients have difficulty biting down properly as their upper teeth make contact with the lower set of braces. This can result in brackets becoming dislodged from the teeth. To prevent this and to make sure that the placement of the upper and lower braces go together, Shoe Orthodontics uses tiny plastic or metal additions known as "bite turbos." This helps avoid any issues with biting and chewing with braces. Want to know more about bite turbos and braces? We have the answers, so read on!
What Are Bite Turbos?
A Bite Turbo, a bite block or bite ramp, is a small, plastic, or metal orthodontic device used to help move your teeth into the right position. This triangular device is bonded to the back of the teeth to prevent contact between your upper teeth and the brackets on your lower teeth. Typically, we install two bite turbos at one time. Should either come off unexpectedly, the other will still allow your turbos to operate normally — saving you an urgent trip to the orthodontist! If both come off, let us know so we can replace them before your next visit.
How to Eat With Bite Turbos
Without a doubt, eating with bite turbos will be a different experience compared to eating without them. Chewing can become tricky if you have bite turbos on either the front or back teeth. When placed on the front set, your molars won't meet completely, and when put in place of the rear teeth, it'll be impossible for your front teeth to meet.
Stock up on softer, easier-to-chew meals with bite turbos during your initial days. Easy options such as mashed potatoes, mac 'n' cheese, pasta, applesauce, smoothies, yogurt, and soft meats will give your teeth time to adjust.
When you get used to your new bite, it's time to enjoy all the braces-friendly foods you love!
Remember: Bite turbos are temporary, and not every patient needs them. Your treatment plan is 100% personalized to you! During your free orthodontic consultation, Dr. Shoe will assess your smile and determine if bite turbos are needed to get you the best results. If deemed necessary, we'll explain everything there is to know about bite turbos so that you know what to expect.
Do Bite Turbos Hurt?
As with your braces, you might feel a slight discomfort with your bite turbos the first few days. Once your mouth gets used to them, any pain or discomfort should disappear. That’s one of the reasons why we encourage you to eat soft foods right after you get your bite turbos.
If you have discomfort, treatment with over-the-counter painkillers should take care of it. Take Tylenol or ibuprofen as directed. You can also rinse your mouth with warm salt water to reduce gum irritation. If the pain persists after a week or so, contact us!
Here are a few other things to keep in mind about your bite turbos:
- Turbos are temporary. They usually are removed within 6-12 months. Dr. Shoe will remove the bite turbos once he feels the patient’s teeth are properly positioned.
- Separating your teeth with turbos allows your bite to “unlock” and move more freely. It will help your teeth move easily, comfortably, and faster.
- Be sure to brush the turbos and surrounding gum tissue to free them from plaque.
- If your bite blocks break, become loose, or are uncomfortable, please call us!
Talking With Bite Turbos
Bite turbos can feel funny when your tongue hits them, but trust us — you’ll get used to them! You may find speech a bit more difficult when you first get them. Your tongue forms certain sounds by hitting the back of your teeth, such as th, ch, z, s, and d. As a result, you may have a bit of a lisp when you first get your bite turbos.
Don’t worry! It should slowly go away as you get used to your bite turbos. Once they’re taken off, you may have to relearn how to speak without them, but that should only take a few days, as well.
Damage to Your Bite Turbos
Our bite turbos are pretty strong, so damaging them will take a lot. If, by chance, you do damage them, give us a call right away. We’ll bring you in and replace the damaged turbo.
That also goes for brackets. If your bite turbo somehow damages your lower brackets, let us know! However, the chances of this happening are low since the whole point of the bite turbo is to keep your teeth from damaging your brackets.
Removing Bite Turbos
Once Dr. Shoe is certain your teeth are in place enough not to damage your lower brackets, he’ll take your bite turbos off. Removing the bite turbos shouldn’t take long, and it may feel a bit funny once they’re removed. That’s because you’ve had them in for several months, and your mouth is used to them by now. But don’t worry! Your mouth will quickly adjust to being without them again.
You might have a bit of soreness once they’re removed. Once again, we recommend you stick to soft foods for a few days until the soreness disappears. After that, it’s just a matter of letting your braces treatment finish, and you’ll be able to see your beautiful new smile!
Braces Treatment With Shoe Orthodontics
Not every patient will need bite turbos. Not every person needs braces. If you feel you need braces and bite turbos, schedule an appointment for a free consultation with Shoe Orthodontics! We provide braces treatment in Hanover, PA, and braces treatment in Reisterstown, MD. You’ll get a tour of our office, a full examination, and a visit with Dr. Shoe on your first visit! If you decide you’re ready, we’ll set up a schedule for your braces treatment. You’ll know how long you’ll wear braces and whether you need bite turbos with your initial consultation. See us! We look forward to helping you achieve the beautiful smile you desire. Our highly trained orthodontists and staff are dedicated to providing the best possible care to our patients. We will answer any questions and provide the most up-to-date information to ensure you receive the best treatment possible. We look forward to seeing you soon!