At Teeth Tamers we have yet another option to satisfy your orthodontic needs. Lingual braces! Lingual braces are braces that are attached behind the teeth. They are the perfect option for the patient concerned about esthetics but not prepared for the responsibility of keeping up with aligner wear.
The brand of lingual braces that we utilize is called InBrace. InBrace is a low-profile bracket system that is not visible and can only be removed by a professional. In fact, InBrace is more invisible than Invisalign. The low profile means there is minimal to no interference with the tongue. InBrace utilizes gentle movements to facilitate healthy tooth movement which means less soreness. It is similarly priced as Invisalign and requires much fewer adjustment visits than traditional braces.
Lingual braces are an option that has practical and cosmetic advantages. They have some similarities to other braces, but because they are installed on the back of the teeth rather than the front where traditional braces are placed, they have some differences. We’ll explore these differences further and discuss what factors should be considered before getting lingual braces.
What Are Lingual Braces?
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces in that brackets and wires are installed in the mouth and on the teeth to fix misalignments. However, lingual braces differ because they are almost entirely invisible. They are placed on the back of the teeth facing the tongue, rather than the front of the teeth. Because of this, lingual braces allow for a more discreet option for orthodontic patients not willing to wear traditional braces for a lengthy amount of time. They are gaining popularity for this reason, for both children and adults.
Benefits of Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are virtually invisible, and that’s the main reason eligible patients choose them. One other advantage is if you play a wind instrument or a sport, lingual braces are easier to adapt to than traditional braces. Besides being virtually invisible, lingual braces are just as efficient as other options when it comes to complex misalignments, including correcting rotations, closing gaps due to extractions, or evening out the height of teeth. Lingual braces are also custom fit for every patient, which can give a higher level of comfort.
How Lingual Braces are Placed
The brackets used with lingual braces are customized to fit each patient’s mouth perfectly, using an impression of the teeth, and must be installed onto each individual tooth to properly correct misalignments. Likewise, the wires connecting each bracket require some customization to serve each patient best.
Having the perfect fit is essential when it comes to installing lingual braces because the brackets and wires are more challenging to place. The backs of the teeth are harder to reach, and there is much less room for the orthodontist to work. In order to properly position the lingual braces, all the brackets are cemented on the teeth at the same time using a customized tray to hold them in place. In contrast, traditional braces use standardized brackets that are placed individually, one tooth at a time.
Other Factors to Consider
As with any orthodontic option, patients need to consider their own personal preferences and what will work best for their lifestyle. As with metal braces, there are particular things that you should avoid eating with lingual braces, including foods that are hard, crunchy or very sticky. Food that gets stuck behind your teeth can take some extra effort to clean and rinse away. If this could be problematic for you, it may be best to consider another option, such as Invisalign.
The length of time that lingual braces need to be worn varies among patients. Most people will wear them between one and two years before they get the desired results. Extreme cases may take longer. During the time you wear them, regular visits will be necessary every few months for adjustments. The time that needed to wear lingual braces is generally right on par with traditional braces.
Are Lingual Braces Right for You?
First of all, the teeth have to be long enough to provide sufficient room to glue the braces on the inside of the teeth; therefore, lingual braces may not work for children or someone with especially small teeth. You also cannot wear lingual braces if you have excessive bite problems.
Lingual braces can be more difficult to get used to than traditional braces because the positioning of linguals affects your tongue. At first, you may find that swallowing without using a tongue thrust (placing the tongue between your teeth when swallowing) is difficult, and talking is a little tricky – not to mention that tongue thrusting places force on your teeth that can lead to more dental issues. You may need to consciously practice not using a tongue thrust when swallowing by gently touching your teeth together and then swallowing. For talking, consider over-enunciating certain words for several weeks after getting your braces.
According to the ALOA, sometimes the overall treatment time using linguals may be longer than with traditional braces, but it is relative both to the orthodontist and to your cooperation in caring for your teeth and braces while wearing them. You have to be even more diligent about cleaning your teeth, because the placement of lingual braces makes it harder to check whether you have brushed away all the food particles when brushing.
Keeping your teeth clean is important, no matter what type of braces you choose. Food easily gets stuck in the brackets and wires and can cause plaque to form and tooth decay. Brush after every meal, making sure that you brush each tooth at the gum line and both above and below the brackets of your braces. Because lingual braces are on the back of your teeth, you should pay special attention to brushing back there. If youre interested in wearing lingual braces, discuss the option with Dr. Karla Isaacs at Teeth Tamers Orthodontics, to determine whether it’s right for you.