You may have just gotten your braces or orthodontic appliance on and noticed two blue, chunky things behind your teeth. They feel strange to your tongue and you can’t even bite down normally. What on earth are these? Good news, you are not alone!  These seemingly foreign, blue “things” are what we refer to in orthodontics as bite turbos or bite ramps, and they are very common at the start of orthodontic treatment.. 

 

Why are bite turbos necessary?

Bite turbos temporarily separate the upper teeth from the lower teeth to allow for placement of lower braces. In many cases, because of the overbite there is insufficient space for lower braces to be glued on. If the bite turbos were not placed, you would bite down and break off lower braces. The bite turbos therefore create a temporary, artificial separation of the upper and lower teeth to prevent breakages. Co-incidentally they also help correct a deep bite faster.



What can I expect during the initial adjustment period?

The placement of the bite turbos may be behind the upper front teeth or on the biting surface of the back molars. In both instances, your bite will feel very different from what you’re used to. You will only have two biting surfaces making contact which will make eating/chewing frustrating during the initial adjustment period. Rest assured, you will adjust to this new bite! It just takes some patience and modifying your diet during the early weeks of your treatment.

 

What foods should I eat?

Soft, mushy foods are recommended during the initial adjustment period. Soups, applesauce, purees, smoothies, yogurt, scrambled eggs and soft macaroni and cheese are good choices during these early days. As the bite starts to become less awkward feeling then transitioning into more solid foods, that are still cut up into smaller pieces, is recommended. Rest assured, by the time the second orthodontic visit arrives the bite turbos will feel completely normal. By the second appointment more teeth will likely be touching and the bite will feel more comfortable.

 

How long will I have the bite turbos?

The bite turbos are required until the overbite has been corrected enough that the upper and lower teeth are able to move freely, and there is no longer a risk of braces/appliance breakages from the bite.  This usually lasts anywhere from 6-9 months. Every situation is unique, but once they are no longer needed, the bite turbos are easily removed with a polishing stone.

 

We’re here to help! 

If you have any questions, our team at Walt Orthodontics is happy to help our Vaughan-Maple-Thornhill community! Whether you have just started your smile journey or you are interested to see if you are a candidate for orthodontic treatment. We’re just one call or text away!

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