Aligned teeth are not only aesthetically pleasing but also beneficial from a health perspective. Besides making it easier to clean your teeth because they fit well together, you are also less likely to damage the inside of your cheeks, and the muscles in the neck and jaw are not subjected to as much strain.
Correcting your bite is possible with braces by straightening your teeth and realigning your jaw. But there are times when braces are not enough. An orthodontist might recommend inserting extra devices during your treatment to make your braces more effective or shorten your treatment time. One of these devices is the lip bumper, which creates more room in the front of the lower jaw, allowing the teeth to adjust in a better manner.
Let’s discuss what a lip bumper is and how you may use them in your orthodontic treatment.
What Is a Lip Bumper?
A lip bumper is a type of dental appliance used to correct an overbite. It is inserted into the mouth and helps push the upper back teeth and jaw forward, which will help align them correctly.
A lip bumper is a U-shaped thick stainless steel wire. Metal bands encircle the back teeth on your lower jaw, so the ends of the wire fit into them. By extending your lower lip slightly, the stainless steel wire allows your front teeth to move into the proper position with more room. As a result, the bottom lip also exerts natural pressure on the wire, helping to push molars back. Lip bumpers are covered in acrylic or rubber to avoid hurting your lips.
Recent years have seen some orthodontic practices use lip bumpers to treat teeth in the upper jaw as well. The maxillary lip bumper is helpful when the angle or alignment of the upper teeth interferes with the bite.
How Do Lip Bumpers Work?
Lip bumpers are placed on the teeth and work by holding the lower jaw in a forward position to help correct an overbite and improve the alignment of your teeth.
What Issues Do Lip Bumpers Treat?
Lip bumpers can treat several orthodontic issues, including lower anterior crowding, second molar eruption disturbances, mandibular lip bumper treatment, and crowded maxillary incisors.
Apart from increasing the space between teeth, lip bumpers also correct problems caused by lip, thumb, and finger-sucking.
It is possible to develop painful ulcers on the inside of the lips and gums from lip sucking. In addition, the front teeth can become out of alignment. Lip bumpers can prevent this issue and correct its effects.
How Often Must I Wear My Lip Bumper?
Although some lip bumpers are removable, most orthodontists recommend that patients leave them in place around the clock to maximize their effectiveness and, therefore, are cemented in place.
How Long Does Lip Bumper Therapy Last?
Your orthodontic issues are key in determining how long your lip bumper will last. On average, you can expect a lip bumper to last anywhere between 12 to 24 months.
Do Lip Bumpers Cause Lip Discomfort?
Lip bumpers are generally safe and effective for most patients. However, as with any type of medical treatment, there are potential side effects that you should be aware of. These include pain or discomfort in the lips, gums, or teeth, soreness in the jaw, and difficulties speaking or eating. If you experience any of these side effects, be sure to get in touch with your orthodontist immediately.
My Lip Bumper Is Dislodged: What Should I Do?
If your lip bumper comes loose, please do not attempt to fix it yourself. Instead, contact your orthodontist as soon as possible so they can replace it.
How to Take Care of Your Lip Bumper
It does not matter if you have removable or fixed lip bumpers (tied in on teeth)— maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth every meal and flossing at least twice a day is essential. The only difference is that you will only have to take off your lip bumper while you brush or floss if they are of the removable kind.
The importance of good oral hygiene cannot be overstated, as it is key to preventing issues such as cavities and gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing are essential to remove plaque and food debris from between the teeth and from between the appliance’s components.
If your lip bumper is fixed to the teeth, an oral irrigator (Waterpik) can help remove remaining plaque and food debris after brushing and flossing.
Foods to Avoid When Wearing a Lip Bumper
When wearing a lip bumper, certain foods must be avoided, such as hard candy, hard bread, hard-to-chew fruit and vegetables, nuts, popcorn, chips, and chewing gum. You should also cut your food into small pieces to avoid damaging the appliance. When eating fruit or vegetables, it’s best to cook them for them to become softer to chew.
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Choose Loudoun Orthodontics for Your Lip Bumper Therapy!
Are you ready to enhance your orthodontic treatment with a lip bumper? Loudoun Orthodontics is dedicated to preserving your beautiful smile for as long as possible. Get in touch with our office in Lansdowne, VA, today for a free consultation! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health!