So you’ve heard of common orthodontic appliances, like palatal expanders, rubber bands and separators, but have you heard of bite turbos? These appliances are essentially bite bumpers for braces and they’re highly effective at aligning the bite position.
We’ll explain… but first, why are they called “bite turbos”? Do they use some sort of turbo jetpacks to straighten the teeth!?
As cool as that sounds—tiny jetpacks attached to your braces—that’s not the case. As you’ll learn, bite turbos are used to reposition the bite and create a healthy alignment between the top teeth and bottom teeth—hence the “bite” in bite turbo. These appliances also work quickly and can reduce the length or complexity of braces treatment—hence the “turbo” part.
What are bite turbos for braces?
Bite turbos are tiny orthodontic appliances that are used alongside braces treatment to prevent the top teeth from excessively overlapping the bottom teeth. They may be made out of metal, or made out of a blue, red or tooth-colored gel-like material that hardens on the teeth.
If a patient has a deep overbite (the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth), bite turbos may be placed on the inner tongue-side surfaces of the front teeth, or on the cusp of the back molars. The turbo acts as a bumper, limiting the overlap between the lower and upper teeth.
These attachments are used temporarily during treatment, but they create permanent results. Once the top teeth and bottom teeth are aligning without overlapping and the bite turbo has done its job, the turbo(s) will be removed.
Bite turbos help to align the top teeth and bottom teeth properly, but they also prevent you from biting down on a lower bracket and breaking it. With a deep overbite condition, when the top teeth are used to biting down over the bottom teeth, you’re at risk of chomping down on your lower brackets when speaking, eating or sleeping—or anytime in between really.
Biting your lower brackets regularly can result in broken or loose brackets, which will stunt your treatment progress. By preventing the cause of broken brackets, you can stay on track with your treatment and avoid preventable visits to our office.
(As much as we’d love to see you, we know you’d rather be living your life outside of our office!)
To place a metal bite turbo, your orthodontist will determine where the turbo is needed, then place the turbo with a bonding material and cure the appliance with a blue light to adhere it.
If bite-turbo material is used (made from a gel-like consistency), the material will be dispensed onto the teeth, shaped to form a bumper, then cured with a blue light to set the material.
How to Eat with Bite Turbos
As you can imagine, eating with bite turbos on your teeth will be a different experience than eating without these appliances.
If a bite turbo is placed on the front teeth, the back teeth won’t come together completely when chewing food. If a bite turbo is placed on the back teeth, the front teeth won’t come together completely.
During your first week with bite turbos, you may find it easiest to eat a soft food diet until your teeth have adjusted. You may want to stock your fridge with soft foods, like mashed potatoes, mac ‘n’ cheese, pastas, applesauce, smoothies, yogurt, and soft meats.
Once your teeth are used to the new bite, you can reintroduce your favorite (braces-friendly) foods again!
Bite turbos are only a temporary part of treatment, and they may not be a part of your treatment plan at all. Your treatment plan is 100% personalized to you!
Once Dr. Saxe or Dr. Drowley examines your smile during your complimentary consultation, she’ll determine whether bite turbos will help us achieve the best results. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about bite turbos if you require this appliance.
And voila! The bite turbo mystery is solved!
Still have questions about bite turbos?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’ll also tell you everything you need to know when you visit us for your complimentary consultation. Our experienced orthodontists, Dr. Saxe and Dr. Drowley, are here for you and your family every step of the way.
If you’re ready to get started, request your complimentary consultation with us today.