Have you ever wondered if there is a solution to straighten teeth other than classic braces? You are not alone. 4.5 million people in the United States wear braces or another device to straighten their teeth, so it’s a common question. Braces technology has come a long way and has many options. Lingual braces, one of the newer types of orthodontic work, have become popular for people who are conscious about the appearance of their braces.
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What are Lingual Braces (Invisible Braces)?
Lingual braces serve the same purpose as traditional braces but are placed behind the teeth (on the side of the tongue and palate) rather than in front of the teeth. Therefore, braces offer a great aesthetic alternative for those who want their teeth straightened without being visible.
How Do Lingual Braces Work?
Lingual braces are easy to use. Dentists take impressions of the teeth, which are sent to dental laboratories for custom braces. This process takes approximately six weeks. After braces are made, the orthodontist uses a special method to attach the braces to the back of your teeth. Lingual braces function the same as traditional braces. Gentle but constant pressure is applied to the teeth to help them slide into the proper position. Depending on how the patient bites or how they clench their teeth, treatment may take 18 to 36 months.
Are Lingual Braces Right for You?
Here are some common reasons to choose lingual braces:
- If you want your teeth to be straightened while getting a professional look.
- If you are concerned about the appearance of your braces.
- If you play a wind instrument, traditional braces can be a problem.
- If you play contact sports, it is safer to get lingual braces.
As with other forms of orthodontic treatment, lingual braces are not suitable for everyone. Teenagers and adults with normal-sized teeth are the best candidates. Children usually do not wear lingual braces because their primary teeth are not large enough to wear braces. People with overbite problems are also not suitable candidates for lingual braces.
What are the differences that distinguish Lingual Braces from Traditional Braces?
Beyond appearance, lingual braces differ from traditional braces in several ways. These custom braces are generally more expensive than conventional braces. In this regard, it is best to consult a dentist about the price difference between traditional and lingual braces.
Since it is placed close to your tongue, you may need help with some of your daily habits and difficulty speaking in the first few weeks after installing your lingual device. People who wear lingual braces are more likely to have trouble eating during the first month of adjusting to these braces compared to traditional braces. Your eating and speaking habits will likely improve within the first month after getting lingual braces.
Cleaning Teeth with Lingual Braces
Keeping the teeth clean is essential regardless of the type of braces you choose. Food gets stuck in braces and brackets and can cause plaque to build up, which leads to tooth decay. The best solution is to brush your teeth after every meal. Be sure to brush each tooth at the gum line, above and below your braces. Since lingual braces are behind your teeth, you should pay particular attention to that area of your mouth. You already know that a narrow-tip toothbrush will make reaching the back of your teeth easier.
So, why are lingual braces used? Its advantage is that it is aesthetic. Let’s say you’re a teenager or adult with teeth requiring minimal straightening, and you’re reluctant to wear traditional “train track” braces because of their appearance. In this case, lingual braces may be an ideal option for you. According to Harvard Medical School, treatment times for adults who wear braces often take longer than for children. However, lingual braces will be worth the longer treatment. Ultimately, you’ll have a gorgeous, straight smile and be able to go about your daily life without anyone noticing you have braces!