However, lingual braces are almost invisible, placed on the back of the teeth facing the tongue for a more discreet orthodontic option. Lingual braces are growing in popularity with patients who want the effectiveness of traditional fixed braces in a more aesthetic way.
At your initial visit, an impression of your teeth is taken to ensure the brackets for your lingual braces are custom made and will fit your mouth perfectly. The wires connecting each bracket also require some customisation to ensure best results.
Lingual braces are more challenging to fit in the mouth than traditional braces. The backs of the teeth are harder to reach and there is much less room for the orthodontist to work. In order to properly place the lingual braces, each bracket is cemented onto your teeth at the same time, using a customised tray to hold them in position. In contrast, traditional braces use standardised brackets that are placed individually, one tooth at a time.
Lingual braces are generally suitable for everyone, but may not be the best choice for every patient. As the brackets are placed on the back of the teeth, patients with significant overbites are more at risk of them coming off, and will be more suited to other orthodontic options. Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to advise the best treatment for you.
In the long term, lingual braces shouldn’t be more painful than other types of brace. However, when they are first fitted, you may feel some discomfort or soreness, particularly when eating or speaking. This is usually mostly concentrated on the tongue due to the brackets being placed on the back of the teeth. The longer you wear your lingual brace, the less discomfort and irritation you will feel as your mouth gets used to it.
Each treatment has advantages and disadvantages, and will each suit different patients. Lingual braces are very effective at moving teeth and often are the best option for complex misalignments and crooked teeth. However, for patients searching for a completely removable and very aesthetic option, Invisalign may be the answer.
No, lingual braces are fixed and so can’t be removed during treatment. They are incredibly discreet and hidden from view, so although not removable, other people will not realise you are having teeth straightening treatment unless you tell them.
Lingual braces can be used in cases where the effects of metal braces are required but a more cosmetic approach is desired. Therefore, they are a great option for patients who want to straighten their teeth without the braces showing.
The treatment time varies depending on each individual case, but most patients wear their lingual braces for 12-18 months. For complex cases, braces may need to be worn for a longer time to ensure the best outcome.
Eating with lingual braces fitted can take some getting used to, as the brackets are closer to the tongue than with traditional braces. It is best to avoid very hard or sticky foods, as they could become stuck to the brackets and cause them to dislodge or pop off.
Having lingual braces can feel strange at first, but you should be fully used to them within around two weeks of fitting. If you are still experiencing any soreness or irritation after this, please contact your dentist for advice.
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