Are you among those 4 million in United States aspiring for a healthy, beautiful smile? Are you thinking about straightening your crooked teeth with orthodontic braces? In such a scenario, lingual braces are your best option.
For many youngsters, there is a significant obstacle in seeking treatment. It is because they do not like the look of conventional metal braces.
Are you an image-conscious teenager or a working professional who is conscious of your braces? They draw extra attention to the dental work in progress. In such a case, invisible options are available. And their popularity is growing by leaps and bounds.
Today the invisible orthodontics global market is more than $2 billion and projected to increase in a few years.
Lingual braces have the same components as conventional braces. The only differences being that they are fixed to the back of your teeth, on the tongue or ‘lingual side’ of your teeth. As they are placed behind your teeth, they are nearly invisible.
We have discussed in detail lingual braces and their pros and cons. And also whether you are a good candidate for this type of orthodontia.
What Are Lingual Braces?
Lingual braces are very similar to traditional braces as it also uses metal brackets and wires. They are installed in your mouth and on the teeth to fix any misaligned teeth.
However, lingual braces are different as they are almost invisible. They are placed on the backside of your teeth, facing the tongue rather than the front of the teeth.
Because of this, lingual braces are a discreet option for orthodontic patients who are not willing to wear traditional braces. Many patients are unwilling to wear traditional braces for a long time.
These dental braces are gaining popularity, for this reason, both among children and adults.
Growing Interest in Lingual Braces
Most patients ask about lingual braces. As a result, today, most modern orthodontists and dentists are looking into this option as an effective alternative to traditional braces.
Lingual braces are a popular alternative to conventional braces. They are customized to fit the rear of your teeth and also help solve bite and crowding problems. These braces are as effective and safe as traditional metal braces and hence is a good alternative.
However, you need to understand – not every orthodontist has the experience to install and treat misalignments with these braces.
Be sure to ask your dentist about lingual braces and whether it is a good option for you. In many cases, dentists suggest conventional braces or Invisalign as better alternatives.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Almost anyone can wear these braces. If you are out in public frequently interacting with people, the lingual braces are just right for you. You would prefer these braces as they are not visible while you engage in your daily activities.
The only way you can know whether lingual braces are right for you – is to consult your orthodontist. Interestingly lingual braces can correct all the alignment issues that conventional braces can do.
After examination, your orthodontist can say whether lingual braces are suitable for you. If you have deep overbites, you might run into some trouble. The brackets will pop off more frequently, causing inconvenience.
During your first appointment, your orthodontist will do a detailed examination of your teeth. Post examination , he will discuss which treatment options are most likely to work for your alignment issue.
If you have already researched these modern braces and are interested in them, talk to your orthodontist. But it needs to be discussed early in the process. Not all orthodontists are trained to apply them.
How do Lingual Braces Differ from Conventional Braces?
The main difference between traditional braces and lingual braces is that the lingual braces are fitted to the back of your teeth. While conventional braces are fitted to the front of your teeth, making them visible.
Moreover, these braces are also tailor-made based on a mould taken from your teeth. This mould is sent to the lab, where it is used to create custom brackets for your teeth.
Your orthodontist will then fix the brackets to the back of your teeth and connect them with special intelligent wires.
How Lingual Braces are Placed
The brackets used with these braces are customized to fit your mouth perfectly. The brackets are prepared using an impression of your teeth.
Then your orthodontist installs them on your tooth to properly correct your misalignments. Similarly, the wires connecting each bracket are also customized to fit your teeth.
Lingual braces need to fit perfectly because the brackets and wires are more challenging to place. This is because the back of your teeth is harder to reach, and your orthodontist has very little space to work.
In order to properly position your braces, all the brackets are cemented to your teeth at once. They are cemented using a customized tray to hold them in place. On the other hand, traditional braces use standardized brackets that are placed one by one.
Advantages of Lingual Braces
- These braces are virtually invisible.
- They effectively correct most of your bite problems.
- Like traditional braces, they can be customized to increase your comfort and maximize efficiency.
The most significant advantage of lingual braces is the ability to be more discreet when correcting your teeth. Many people do not prefer wearing bulky metal braces for years, especially in social or professional situations.
Your braces are hidden behind your teeth, giving you all the benefits of metal braces without being noticed.
These braces are virtually invisible but are as effective as other dental options. They are efficient in correcting complex misalignments. These could include correcting rotations, closing gaps due to extractions or evening out the height of teeth.
In addition, any discoloration or white spots resulting from wearing these braces will be on the inside of your teeth. Thus making it difficult to brush your teeth. Moreover, these braces are custom fit for your teeth and are more comfortable.
Disadvantages of Lingual Braces
- These braces may cost more than other types of braces.
- They can be uncomfortable, especially at first.
- They might give you a temporary lisp.
- Sometimes they might take longer than conventional braces.
Lingual braces are seen to create some issues for patients with an extreme or deep overbite. Probably because the overbite exerts too much pressure on the brackets, causing them to detach easily. Your orthodontist will inform you about the problems in your case.
Lingual braces might cause difficulties with your speech after you wear them for the first time. You might also have a lisp until the time you become accustomed to them. This is because your tongue makes contact with braces when you articulate. This effect will go away after a few days.
With lingual braces, there are particular things that you should avoid eating. Specifically food that is hard, crunchy or very sticky. In simple terms, food that gets stuck behind your teeth and might take some extra effort to clean. This could be problematic at times and hence you need to be extra careful.
As with most of the braces, you might develop some sort of discomfort or sores initially. In the case of lingual braces, you might feel the soreness on your tongue, especially while speaking and eating. However, the pain and irritation will decrease as you keep wearing the braces.
Are Lingual Braces More Comfortable Than Other Braces?
No matter the type of braces you choose, you will have some discomfort as you start wearing them. You might experience slight pain or a dull ache. But the pain can be relieved with over the counter medications. During this period, you should eat soft foods like yoghurt, rice, and soft-boiled eggs until your pain subsides.
Braces can also be painful when the brackets come into contact with the soft tissues inside your mouth. But with lingual braces, the tongue is a common site of pain because the braces are placed inside.
For some of you, the discomfort caused by lingual braces is significant. To improve patients’ comfort, manufacturers today are making lingual brackets smoother and smaller. Your orthodontist can also customize the braces, which will decrease your discomfort.
Use of pain relief gel or a small amount of wax can give you short term relief. If the condition is more painful, contact your orthodontist.
Other Factors to Consider
As with any orthodontic treatment, you need to consider your personal preferences and work best for your lifestyle.
Another factor to consider is the fact that lingual braces are usually more expensive. The customization required with these braces and fitting each bracket perfectly to each tooth make it costly. In contrast, other braces options are more standardized and hence are more affordable.
The best way to determine whether lingual braces are a good option for you is to meet with an orthodontist. They can analyze your teeth and recommend the best line of treatment for you.
In today’s fast-paced world, everybody wants to have things done faster and teeth straightening is no different. Lingual braces are reputed to take significantly less time to complete the same task than other orthodontic treatments. This makes them a popular option for teeth straightening.