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What Are Lingual Braces?
Technology has brought diversity in orthodontic treatments. There are various treatment options now available and one of those options is lingual braces. Lingual braces adhere to the back of your teeth (the lingual or tongue side) instead of the front of the teeth making them practically invisible. Whether you are a teenager who worries about peer pressure or an adult that is looking for a more discreet option for getting a perfectly aligned smile, lingual braces are a way to get this done.
Lingual Braces are also known as Incognito Braces or Hidden Braces
What sets lingual braces apart from the traditional metal braces is in their placement on the back of the teeth. Lingual braces are virtually invisible, and that’s the main reason to be the choice for eligible patients. This is the reason that these braces are being increasingly used for adult orthodontics. Lingual braces are an orthodontic option with practical and cosmetic advantages over alternative braces. Their positioning provides some differences with respect to comfort, fit and ability to be discreet.
- How long do hidden braces take to work?
- Are they painful or uncomfortable?
- What are the costs of lingual braces?
These braces are custom-made for your teeth. Your dentist will take an impression or a digital scan of your teeth, which is then used to customize the wires and brackets that will firmly fit on your teeth and will gradually align them into the desired position.
For individuals that play sports or a wind instrument or a sport, lingual braces are easier to adapt to than traditional braces. Lingual braces are only applied by orthodontists or general dentists that are specially trained to use the equipment required to place the braces. Lingual braces are just as efficient as clear aligners when it comes to complex movements such as correcting rotations, closing extraction spaces or correcting the position of your teeth. Lingual braces are custom-fit for each patient, ensuring 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, they are installed onto each individual tooth to properly correct misalignments. Similarly, the wires connecting each bracket are customized to serve each patient best.
A perfect fit is essential when it comes to installing lingual braces as the brackets and wires are more challenging to place. The backs of the teeth are difficult to access and have 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 with a customized tray holding them in place.
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Are Lingual Braces Right for You?
You are a good candidate for lingual braces if
- You want the least visible orthodontic treatment. If keeping a minimal appearance with braces is of utmost importance for you than lingual braces are definitely worth consideration. Our dentists at Excellence in Dentistry can inform you about the pros and cons of each treatment option as well as advice on which will get the best results for your particular situation.
- Your teeth have sufficient room for the braces to adhere to the inside of the teeth; therefore, it might not work for children or people with especially small teeth.
- If you have mild to moderate crowding and feel like committing and compliance with removable orthodontic option or aligners would be an issue for you.
- Lingual braces are also not an option for patients with excessive bite problems. Using lingual braces with a deep overbite might be a cause of concern as the overbite can bear too much pressure on the brackets and cause them to detach easily. After evaluation, your orthodontist will be able to recommend if this is an option for you.
Lingual braces can be more difficult to get used to than traditional braces because of their positioning and how that affects your tongue. Sometimes the overall treatment time using lingual braces is longer than with traditional braces, but it is relative both to the amount of crowding as well as your cooperation in caring for your teeth and braces while wearing them. You have to be even more careful about cleaning your teeth, as the placement of lingual braces makes it harder to check whether you have brushed away all the food particles when brushing.
The major advantage of lingual braces over other types is aesthetic.
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- Virtually invisible.
The most significant advantage of lingual braces is the ability to be more discreet when aligning teeth. For adults especially, wearing bulky metal braces for years is not an ideal option for social or professional situations. Lingual braces are almost invisible, giving patients access to all the benefits of metal braces without being obvious.
- It can effectively correct most alignment problems.
Lingual braces are just as efficient as other options when it comes to complex misalignment’s, including correcting rotations, closing gaps due to extractions or evening out the level of teeth. In people with poor oral hygiene, there is a higher chance of white spots happening underneath and around braces. However, any Any discoloration or white spots that can result from wearing braces will be on the inside of the teeth rather than the outside as with traditional metal or ceramic braces.
- It can be customised for increasing comfort and maximising efficiency and help with a variety dental issues.
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 level of teeth. Any discoloration or white spots that can result from wearing braces will be on the inside of the teeth rather than the outside as with traditional metal or ceramic braces.
- More expensive than other types of braces
Lingual braces also cost more than traditional braces as they are entirely customized and are fabricated in a dental laboratory to perfectly fit your teeth
- It can cause discomfort and speech interference, especially at first.
Lingual braces can also cause some interference with proper speech, especially while patients are still adjusting after the brackets are placed. Because of their position on your teeth, it might feel a little unusual at first. Until you become accustomed to them, you might have a lisp because your tongue makes contact with the back of your teeth when you articulate. This will resolve with time.
As with most braces, some discomfort or sores may develop. With these braces, the soreness is mostly felt on the tongue, particularly while eating or speaking. However, the discomfort and irritation will decrease in a few days as your tongue adapts to this new change.
- May not be the best choice for extreme overbite.
Lingual braces might not be the best choice for patients with an extreme or deep overbite. This is because the overbite may exert too much pressure on the brackets on the back of the teeth and cause them to debond easily.
No matter what kind of braces you opt for, there will be some discomfort as your teeth begin to move. Most people experience this pain as a dull ache, which can generally be relieved with over the counter medications and soft diet until the pain subsides.
Lingual braces can cause discomfort when brackets come into contact with the soft tissues inside your mouth. With lingual braces, the tongue is a common site of pain because of the location of the brackets. A topical tooth pain relief gel or a small amount of wax over any sharp edges on your brackets can be used for short term relief of tender spots.
Lingual braces also cost more than traditional braces
as they are entirely customized and are fabricated in a dental laboratory to
perfectly fit your teeth. Treatment with these braces also requires much longer
appointment times and more frequent appointments than regular braces. A
complete treatment lasting for about 18 – 36-month treatment will be more
expensive than traditional braces, however, the costs vary case-by-case.
Sometimes the lingual braces are customized for the individual patient, which can increase the cost. In some brands of lingual braces, the wire can be robotically bent to fit the contours of a particular patient’s mouth, which could shorten the treatment time, but at an increased price.
Whether you call them Incognito, Hidden or Lingual braces, they are an excellent option if you need braces but don’t want them to be obvious. Because of their attachment to the backsides of your teeth, they aren’t as visible as conventional braces. The best way to determine whether lingual braces are a good option for you is to consult with Dr Sally at her brisbane dental practice. She will evaluate your teeth in detail and recommend the best treatment option for you.
Even though these braces are more subtle than traditional braces, they are still braces and you will still have some restrictions when it comes to the foods you can eat throughout your treatment.
The wire is made of metal but it is not indestructible, so always be careful when consuming anything particularly hard or chewy, as this can bend or break the wire. Any food build-up can be removed by gently brushing your teeth and gums twice a day and flossing.
Please call us at to learn more about orthodontics in Brisbane, Qld, and to schedule your first visit with Dr. Sally and her team.