Lingual braces are one of the most recent forms of orthodontic braces developed and practically invisible from the front view. Lingual Braces provide a safe and effective method for correcting misaligned teeth, crowding, crossbite, overbite or underbite.
So, if you are looking for orthodontic treatment of braces and you have aesthetic issues with the look of traditional braces, then lingual braces might be an excellent alternative for you. Lingual braces are found to be popular among adults.
Lingual braces are custom-made for your teeth. The Orthodontist will take an accurate impression or digital scan of your teeth.
The scan is used to create customized wires and brackets that will tightly fit on the inner side of teeth to move the teeth into straight position gradually.
- Suggested read: Know Different Types of Braces in Detail
What are lingual braces?
The Lingual Braces are also known as invisible or inside braces are attached to the inner surface rather than the outside of teeth that face the tongue. They are not visible from the outside, even up-close.
The word “lingual” means tongue, that’s how lingual braces got its name because it interacts with the tongue all the time.
The cost of lingual braces is more than traditional braces. The cost can go up to $9000 for an 18-month treatment plan. If you are not financially stable, then you may want to prefer traditional braces because lingual braces are the most expensive type of braces.
Lingual braces are expensive because they require more frequent appointments and working behind the teeth throughout the treatment is more difficult and complicated than standard braces.
What are the benefits?
- Lingual braces are an excellent alternative to conventional braces, and lingual braces are impossible to notice because they are placed to the inside rather than the outside of the teeth. As a result, lingual braces do not cause aesthetic concerns throughout the treatment period.
- They are recommended over traditional braces for people who participate in contact sports or play wind instruments.
- They are always on and always working. You do not have to worry about removing and wearing them back.
- This type of brace is suitable for all age group of people.
- These invisible braces can be excellent appliances for aligning teeth as well as improving bites.
- An advantage of the lingual brackets over the traditional brackets is the fewer decalcification marks on the front side of the teeth which is more visible. Patients with poor oral hygiene can have increased white spot lesions which are present on the front side and can stay there after removal of braces if proper oral hygiene is not maintained.
- These invisible braces also allow more control over tooth movements, unlike traditional braces.
What are the disadvantages?
Lingual braces are not preferable by everyone as there are some challenges associated with wearing them that aren’t found in traditional braces.
- It may be more difficult to apply the braces on very small teeth. Lingual braces may not be suitable for children or people with small teeth.
- The treatment plan for lingual braces usually extends long because it is difficult for your dentist to access to the braces as they are at the backside of the tooth and are not visible.
- It is challenging to get used to wearing lingual dental braces as the presence of braces affects the tongue. The thrusting of the tongue against braces makes it sour, red and swollen.
- These braces may affect the way you speak in the initial days. This may be especially noticeable with “S” and “T” sounds.
- They will make eating more difficult, and hard food particles even have the potential to damage your braces.
- Cleaning becomes difficult after placement of lingual braces, braces makes it harder to check whether you have brushed off all the food particles while brushing.
- They are incompetent on the lower jaw, and hence they are treated with regular braces.
Cleaning of teeth with lingual braces
Keeping your teeth clean is necessary and can prevent you from many dental related problems regardless of what braces you are wearing.
Small food particles can trap in the brackets of your braces resulting in plaque formation. Plaque accumulation is found underneath the area where the metal of braces was placed.
As lingual braces are present at the back of the teeth, it’s difficult to clean that area. Special attention should be given for proper brushing and cleaning of the back side of teeth without disturbing the braces.
What are the other options?
There are other treatment options available besides lingual braces and traditional braces which require extensive work that may be right for your treatment and are not so visible.
Ceramic braces are one option. They work in the same way as traditional metal braces but have clear or tooth-colored ceramic brackets and often tooth-colored wires for less visibility.
You may also consider Invisalign, which uses a series of clear aligners to align your teeth over time gradually. You will need to fix an appointment with your orthodontist to get your teeth examined to help you decide what type of braces you need.