Everything You Need to Know about Lingual Braces And More

No one likes to get the bad news that they need braces to correct problems with their teeth. Between the cost and the thought of sporting a metal smile for a few years tends to bring us to tears. With today’s advances in orthodontic technology though it doesn’t have to be such a prison sentence though.

There are many different affordable options now for straightening teeth and a few of them are practically invisible to wear.

Here is everything you need to know about lingual braces and more:

What are Lingual Braces?

Lingual braces are braces that are attached to the back of the teeth instead of the front making them practically invisible to the people around you. They are made up of brackets and wires like traditional braces, but because of their positioning they are more discrete.

Unfortunately there are some bite conditions that cannot be treated with lingual braces. Patients with a deep overbite are not good candidates for lingual braces because the overbite might put too much pressure on the brackets leading to the brackets falling off. During an evaluation, your orthodontist will be able to determine if lingual braces will work for you.

Another concern is that not all orthodontists offer this type of treatment. It requires special training because the wiring work is more intricate than it is with traditional treatment. They can be more difficult to clean properly because it is on the back of your teeth which is harder to reach.

On the plus side they provide the same effective results as traditional braces without the embarrassment of a metal smile and unlike with removable braces like Invisalign aligners, there is no compliance issue.

Here are some difficulties that you may experience with lingual braces:

  • You may have difficulties with speech. Because the braces are on the inside of your teeth, it will feel a little strange at first and you may experience some speech difficulty like a lisp until you get used to them. What is exactly happening is that the tongue usually hits the back of the teeth to make sounds and now it can’t. The good news is that your tongue will eventually train itself to find a different place in the mouth.
  • Because your tongue will be hitting up against the brackets, your tongue may develop sores until it get toughened up. To help with any pain or discomfort you make feel, rinse your mouth in warm saltwater or use over-the counter pain medicine that is safe to use to numb your tongue.
  • You will have food restrictions like you do with traditional metal braces. You will need to avoid foods that are hard and very crunchy and those that are very sticky. A good rule of thumb is to always cut up your food into smaller pieces before eating.

Don’t let these issues scare you away though. The technology used to create lingual braces is changing every day and getting more comfortable. Today the brackets are lot smaller and more rounded and sharp edges is not as much of an issue anymore. The use of CAD/CAM and robotic wire bending technology has made the whole process smoother and more precise.

Cost of Lingual Braces

Unfortunately lingual braces tend to me more expensive than traditional metal braces, but it does depend on your dental insurance coverage.

Financial considerations can be a big factor in your decision too. Don’t be afraid to shop around and get an idea of price from different orthodontists so you can make an educated decision about what is the best treatment path for you.
Most orthodontists will offer you different payment options so definitely talk costs during your consultation. You might be surprised by what is actually feasible.

Tips for Keeping Your Lingual Braces Clean

It is very important that you brush and floss your teeth every day and take care to make sure food particles are not getting stuck in the wires or stuck between your teeth and the brackets. This can be especially hard with lingual braces because they are on the backs of your teeth. Ask the orthodontist about any tips they can suggest on how to make it easier to take care of your teeth during orthodontic treatment including any cleaning tools that can make the process so much easier like inter-dental brushes that you can use to clean between your brackets and wires before you floss and brush can really make a difference. Ask also about a floss threader which you use just like a needle and a thread to get the floss into hard to reach places.

In addition, you will most likely need to replace your toothbrush more often while you are wearing braces because there is more wear and tear on the brush from the brackets and wires. Also, make sure your toothbrush is a soft-bristled toothbrush or consider getting an electric toothbrush.

Now is not the time to get lazy with your brushing and flossing. While you might typically only floss once day, now you should floss every time you brush your teeth. First, use the inter dental brush to get rid of any big food particles stuck in the archwire and around the brackets and then brush your teeth, making sure you also clean all the brackets on your teeth. Be meticulous and take your time to make sure you don’t miss any spots.

Just like with traditional braces, there are food restrictions with lingual braces. In order to protect your teeth and not damage the braces, you will need to stay away from hard, crunchy and sticky foods. Also limit the amount of high-acid foods like tomatoes, pineapples, soft drinks and salsa you consume. They can erode the enamel on your teeth. Try to eat more low-acid foods like bananas, mangoes, carrots and cucumbers.

Finally, some tooth decay is common when you wear braces, but the good news is fluoride can help. Make sure to use toothpaste with fluoride and ask your orthodontist if mouthwash with fluoride would be good for your situation too.

For more information about lingual braces, contact Orthodontics Limited today.