If you’re wearing braces to help straighten your teeth, then you’ve probably seen ads for orthodontic bite blocks braces and wondered what they are. These small plastic devices are inserted into your mouth at night and slowly take over the job of holding your jaw in place so you can sleep comfortably without stressing your teeth or braces.
What are orthodontic bite blocks?
If you’re an adult with a severe underbite, it’s a good idea to talk with your orthodontist about getting an orthodontic bite block. They work by essentially preventing you from moving your jaw forward; therefore, helping realign your teeth. An orthodontic bite block is designed for adults with severe underbites because of their severity; if yours isn’t that severe and/or isn’t causing any pain or discomfort, it may not be necessary.
How do you use them?
If you have an underbite, or if your palate expander for adults (or your dentist) has instructed you to wear bite blocks while sleeping at night, know that they’re not entirely necessary. In fact, in some cases they could actually be doing more harm than good. It’s important that your bite is kept perfectly straight throughout all of your orthodontic treatment—that means wearing it day and night, even while sleeping. Most patients will use bite blocks so as not to disrupt their nighttime sleep patterns. If you are uncomfortable wearing them during sleep and can do so without causing yourself any pain or discomfort, don’t! With braces on during sleep, sometimes we need a reminder in order to avoid opening our mouths too wide by accident.
What benefits can I expect from using bite blocks?
Typically, bite blocks are used as part of a treatment plan. The primary benefit of using bite blocks is that they allow your orthodontist to make subtle changes in your bite and jaw position during certain stages of treatment. While using a brace or other device, patients often experience inflammation, muscle tenderness and swelling in their cheeks. These symptoms can be addressed by wearing a bite block while sleeping. Additionally, they may help you chew more efficiently once your braces are removed.
Side effects and risks associated with bite blocks
While bite blocks have many benefits, they also come with some risks. Common side effects include pain, irritation, sores and ulcers in your mouth. Pain may be especially noticeable if you are using a palate expander for adults at night; it might make it hard for you to sleep. Your orthodontist can help alleviate these symptoms through modifications of your treatment plan.
Are there different types of bite blocks?
Orthodontic bite blocks are used when you’re wearing braces. They’re a type of retainer and they keep your teeth in place while your braces are on. It can be hard to tell what kind of bite block you need; they come in different shapes and sizes, so it pays to understand how they work and what purpose each one serves. To help out, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about orthodontic bite blocks below.