Why do orthodontists use lip bumpers for teeth straightening?

Why do orthodontists use lip bumpers for teeth straightening?

Dental braces are helpful in teeth straightening and realigning the jaw. Even though braces are efficient in streamlining the dentition, they require additional measures at times. Orthodontists use supplements to eliminate pressure from lips and cheeks during the treatment. Lip bumper is one of such adjunctive orthodontic appliances.

Keep reading to know its role in orthodontic treatments and how it helps in reducing the treatment duration.

What is a lip bumper?

Lip bumper is a U-shaped appliance and it is equipped to correct the crowding of front teeth in the lower jaw. It has a thick 0.4-inch stainless steel wire with metal or elastic loops at either end with which the back teeth are encircled to keep the device in place.

Once it is installed, the wire lines the front side of the lower teeth. As the wire is coated with acrylic or plastic thereby the lip bumper will not injure the surrounding tissues.

Nowadays, lip bumpers are utilized to correct crowded front teeth in the upper jaw also.

How does a lip bumper help aid in teeth straightening?

Lip bumpers can address severe degrees of crookedness in lower front teeth. Once the incisors in the lower jaw are lined with a lip bumper, it applies strategic pressure along with braces. The force exerted pushes back the lower teeth slightly so that a space between the lower teeth and lip is created. The space allows the crowded teeth to move to their aligned room efficiently.

Meanwhile, the wire in the lie bumper prevents the lower lip’s contact with the lower front teeth. It eliminates the pressure from lips and cheeks.

Are you surprising if lips put pressure on the teeth? Yes. For instance, when you suck your bottom lip under the top front teeth, the lips apply pressure over the front teeth and make them protrude. Consequently, the lower teeth alignment is also collapsed.

When the lip bumper is placed, the lower lip pushes against the bumper whenever the wearers laugh or suck their lips. Hence the lip pressure on teeth is also eliminated.

It tends to speed up the orthodontic treatment.

How should you maintain the lip bumpers?

You can get removable lip bumpers but dentists recommend permanent lip bumpers as they work more efficiently than removable appliances. Whatever you get, you should maintain them exceptionally else it would end in serious oral complications. Here are the essential tips you should follow while wearing lip bumpers:

  • Brush 2 to 3 times a day
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Make sure the space between the teeth and bumper is also clean
  • Don’t eat hard and sticky foods while wearing lip bumpers
  • Visit your Orthodontist if the supporting band becomes loose or the appliance bends.

Are there any side effects associated with lip bumpers?

In the initial stage of lip bump therapy, you would undergo minor discomforts like small groves on your lips, and soreness in the mouth. Don’t worry. They are common and exist until the mouth gets accustomed to the lip bumper.

However, there is a disadvantage associated with lip bumpers. The pressure applied with lip bumpers affects the way the second molars are growing. Second molars are the teeth located in front of the wisdom teeth (third molars). It means the chances of impaction in second molar teeth are higher with lip bumpers.

Luckily, other orthodontic appliances like spacers and retainers can fix this problem.

Bottom Line

Lip bumper is a collateral orthodontic appliance used at times to fix crookedness in teeth. It will quicken the teeth straightening treatments as it eliminates the pressure created by lips over the teeth.

Besides realigning the teeth, this oral appliance is also helpful in breaking poor oral habits like lip sucking, thumb sucking, and finger sucking.

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