3 Brace Devices Meant to Hold Your Mouth Open to Speed Up Treatment
Orthodontic treatment aims to use the pressure of custom-designed braces and support structures to move your teeth into a new formation. Depending on the nature of your problem, the orthodontist might affix a device that will hold your mouth open to better facilitate teeth movement. These devices can cause some issues with chewing and speaking clearly but are worth the effort in the long run.
Here are a couple of the brace devices meant to hold your mouth open to help speed up treatment.
A bite plate is a solid clear device that's shaped similar to a retainer but fits into the top of the mouth and behind the front teeth. The plate is designed to keep the top and bottom teeth from coming together either in the front or back of the mouth. This helps exert extra pressure on teeth suffering from bite issues so deep that the opposing teeth are getting in the way.
Bite plates can be fixed or removable and are usually worn concurrent with braces though typically not during the whole treatment period. Removable bite plates can be removed during eating while fixed stay in constantly. Follow your orthodontist's instructions to the letter even if the plate is making it harder to chew or speak. You will get used to the plate with time and taking it out unnecessarily will increase the length of your orthodontic treatment.
Bite turbos are metal or acrylic blocks placed behind teeth, usually the front two, in order to keep the teeth from interfering with the braces on the lower teeth. This tends to happen with a deep overbite, where the upper front teeth come down to essentially cover the lower teeth. The upper teeth can then loosen or damage the braces on those covered teeth.
The key difference between bite turbos and a bite plate, other than size, is that the turbos are only there to help position or prop up the front teeth rather than an added source of force. Turbos should also pose fewer problems with eating and speaking than a bite plate. But, as with bite plates, the turbos are usually only worn for part of the treatment process.
When your orthodontist prescribes a bite plate or bite turbo, make sure you receive detailed instructions on what you need to do as a patient. This includes whether the bite plate is removable, how to brush and clean on and around the devices, and any additional foods and drinks you need to avoid other than those prohibited by the braces.