Are you an image-conscious individual, a working professional and do not want to extra attention to your braces? Don’t worry. Lingual Braces is the right option for you in such a case.
The desire for a healthy and beautiful smile is what everyone wants.
For many, however, there is a significant obstacle in getting the right treatment: They do not like the look of traditional metal braces.
If you do not want the braces that are visible to others, then there are a number of invisible options available and their popularity is growing day by day.
The global market for invisible orthodontics is about $2.15 billion in 2017 and is gaining momentum.
According to many predictions, the global share of these will be $7.26 billion by 2026.
Lingual braces are the same as conventional braces, however, your dentist will fix them to the back of your teeth, on the tongue, or lingual or side of your teeth.
As they are behind your teeth, they are practically invisible.
Keep reading to learn more about lingual braces, the ideal candidates, how they work, and more in this guide.
Candidates for Lingual Braces
The only way to know whether you qualify for the application of these braces or not is to consult with your orthodontist.
Overall, lingual braces can help correct the same kind of alignment issues as conventional or traditional braces.
According to a review of 2016, research suggests that these braces can help achieve the treatment goals of patients and doctor plans.
However, these are not for everyone.
Patients with very deep overbites, for instance, can have issues with brackets popping off more frequently.
At first, your orthodontist will examine your teeth and discuss the treatment options that will most likely work well for you.
However, if you want these braces, talk to them early in the process, as not all orthodontists have the training to apply them.
Learn more about orthodontics here.
Are They Right For You?
Some of the common reasons why you may choose to get lingual braces are as follows:
You want to straighten your teeth while maintaining a professional look, are concerned about your appearance, or play a wind instrument that traditional braces could interfere with.
Moreover, you may want them if you engage in contact sports and thus, it is safer to have these braces.
However, it is important to understand that such braces are not for everyone.
Teens and adults with normal-sized teeth are the best candidates, however, children with smaller primary teeth do not accommodate the braces.
Also, if you have excessive bite problems, then you are also not a good candidate for lingual braces.
How do Lingual Braces Work?
The process of application of lingual braces is a simple one. Your dentist will first take an impression of your teeth, which they will send to the laboratory to create custom-made brackets.
This process takes about 6 weeks, and after completion, your dentist or orthodontist will use a specific method to cement the braces onto the back of your teeth.
These braces work in the same way as traditional or conventional braces.
They gently apply yet continuous pressure on your teeth to help them shift to the proper position.
The treatment can take about 18 to 36 months, and this time period depends on the severity of the overcrowding of teeth or bite.
What Makes Lingual Braces Different from Traditional Braces?
Other than appearance, lingual braces differ from traditional braces in a few ways.
These are custom-made braces and usually cost more than conventional braces.
Moreover, it is better to consult your dentist about the price difference between traditional and lingual braces for you.
You may also experience some difficulty with daily habits and speaking in the first few weeks after the application of these braces.
This is because of its placement close to your tongue.
Moreover, you might also face difficulty eating in the first month of adjusting to these braces as compared to the traditional ones.
Your eating and speech habits will most likely adapt within a month after the application of lingual braces.
Cleaning your Teeth with Lingual Braces
Cleaning your teeth is an essential part of maintaining your oral and dental hygiene.
No matter what type of braces, the food you eat can get stuck in the brackets, and can cause plaque to form which can eventually lead to tooth decay.
Thus, it is important to brush your teeth after every meal. Make sure that your brush each one of your teeth at the gumlines and above and below.
Because these braces are on the back of your teeth, you should pay attention to that area of your mouth.
Moreover, you may also find a toothbrush with a narrow tip to make it easy accessing the back of your mouth.
Can These Braces give your Lisp?
Yes, lingual braces can give you a lisp.
When you speak, your tongue touches the back of your teeth to make certain sounds, and as the brackets of these braces are on the backsides of your teeth, it can make your speech difficult at first.
While all types of braces can temporarily interfere with the speech patterns, however, according to research, your speech can be different for a month or so with lingual braces.
Studies also suggest that the degree of speech impairment can also vary depending on which brand of bracket your orthodontist uses.
Some people have success correcting lingual lisp using speech therapy techniques, though your tongue will get used to the braces, and eventually, your speech will return to normal.
Advantages of Lingual Braces
The following are the advantages of these braces:
Invisibility: The parts of the braces, i.e. brackets, wires, and elastic bands are all present at the back of your teeth and are invisible until you open your mouth wide enough.
Less Pain: The studies may differ on this idea, however, they seem to favor the application of lingual braces and are less painful than others.
According to a study of 130 people, researchers found that those who wear lingual braces experience the lowest level of pain throughout their first month of treatment.
However, it is important to note that any type of braces will cause some mouth pain at first.
Almost 90% of the individuals with braces experience pain and discomfort with them.
Custom Design: Your orthodontist will customize the lingual braces for you with computer-aided manufacturing CAD/CAM.
Moreover, studies suggest that those lingual braces experience fewer speech and chewing problems
Fewer Lifestyle Changes: As lingual braces are present on the back of your teeth, you do not have to make huge lifestyle changes to your mouth or lip positions.
With these braces, if you want to play a flute or saxophone, you can easily do so, as they do not interfere with the wind flow.
However, if you have any issues then orthodontic wax can help with it.
Disadvantages of Lingual Braces
There are a few disadvantages of lingual braces, however, some of them resolve on their own.
These are as follows:
Effects on Speech: Whether you wear traditional or lingual braces, they will affect your speech at first.
However, some research suggests that you may have trouble with speech if you are wearing lingual braces.
According to a study, they can cause difficulty in speech for a month or so. However, the ones with traditional braces recover from speech difficulties within a week.
Cleaning Problems: With these braces, it can be a bit more difficult to maintain your oral hygiene,
You may find food particles get stuck between your brackets.
However, you can use a water flosser to help remove the sticky food.
Experience of the Orthodontist: For the application of lingual braces, the dentist requires a different technique to use than traditional ones.
Many orthodontic programs do not offer clinical training for lingual braces, thus you may experience some trouble finding one with such experience.
Cost: Lingual braces are expensive than traditional braces especially the ones that are custom made.
While the cost among different orthodontists may vary, your area, and how much work they need to do is also important as it can increase the cost of the procedure.
Lingual braces are orthodontic treatment and can be a good option for you if you need braces however, you do not want them to be obvious. Lingual brackets are hidden braces and are different from ceramic braces, braces, and clear aligners. There are pros and cons of such braces and have different oral health benefits.
As you wear braces on the backside of your teeth, they are not as visible as conventional braces. Depending on the costs in your area, and the dental needs, they can cost more than ordinary braces, and your treatment time might also be a little longer.
You should expect some pain and discomfort while your tongue gets used to the brackets, and you should also be prepared for a slight lisp for the first few weeks or months of treatment. The best way to determine whether these braces are a good option for you is to meet them in person as they can analyze your teeth and recommend the best line of treatment for you.
You can read more about self ligating braces here.