What Are Lingual Braces? (A Complete Guide)

Posted | Braces

More and more people are now opting for orthodontic treatment to achieve a healthier and more attractive smile. Statistics show that in 2030, the global orthodontics market is expected to reach 4.3 billion dollars, which is more than twice its 2019 value.

But one reason that deters image-conscious people is the appearance of conventional braces. The thought of dental appliances sticking out of their mouth can discourage some from reaping the benefits of braces.

And that is why the popularity of almost invisible braces, like lingual braces, is growing tremendously. Curious as to what lingual braces are? Here are the things to know.

What Is The Purpose Of Lingual Braces?

Lingual braces are metallic or ceramic braces attached to the lingual side of the teeth, i.e., behind the teeth instead of the front. It makes it almost invisible and a trendy option among people who want to straighten their teeth but prefer not to draw attention to their dental work.

It works almost the same way as traditional braces to fix misalignments and correct your bite. The composition of the material used is also the same as regular braces.

The treatment plan progresses similarly: you must get your brackets tightened every six to eight weeks. The duration of the treatment also ranges from 1.5- 2 years, depending on the complexity of the dental problem.

lingual braces

Benefits Of Lingual Braces

The main difference, of course, is the way the braces are placed on your teeth. Since they are hidden behind the teeth, they are virtually invisible, meaning no brackets and wires in sight when you speak or smile.

Most patients go through their entire treatment without their friends and colleagues noticing that they wear braces. This discreet way of correcting overcrowding can be a massive plus for adults or teenagers. Lingual braces have some advantages.

How Are Lingual Braces Different From Labial Braces?

To answer this, you must understand how they differ from conventional labial braces.

Are Lingual Braces Cost-Effective?

The cost of lingual braces may be higher than labial braces, and applying them is a rather delicate and time-consuming process. Another reason is that placement of lingual braces requires a great deal of care and patience, and a high level of expertise. Remember that special training is required for orthodontists to apply them.

Orthodontists can customize Lingual braces using computer-aided design software (CAD/CAM). This level of customization means the costs could go higher.

Who Should Get Lingual Braces?

Using lingual braces is particularly effective for correcting dental crowding, crossbites, and underbites. Lingual braces are well suited to treating these particular bite problems.

Lingual braces may not be suitable for patients with a large overbite. The overbite may cause the brackets on the back of the teeth to detach too quickly due to excessive pressure. Discuss this with your orthodontist at the start of your treatment to see if this poses a problem.

Do Lingual Braces Give You A Lisp?

Lingual braces can give you a lisp. Both lingual and labial braces are shown to disrupt speech patterns immediately after application.

While a lot of it depends on the type of brackets used by your orthodontist, according to this study, the interference in speech patterns and discomfort in the lingual group continued even after one month of bonding. But the labial group recovered in approximately a week.

It makes sense because the braces are on the back side of your teeth, closer to your tongue. When you speak, your tongue makes constant contact with the braces, and your speech may initially sound unusual.

It, however, does not indicate that the lisp will be permanent. It only means that lingual braces will take longer to get used to, and you will eventually get over the discomfort.

Are Lingual Braces Painful?

As with all braces, you will notice some soreness in your mouth. But it is mostly on your tongue, not your cheek or lips, and they will reduce with time.

Prefabricated lingual braces cause issues like pain and sores in the tongue. Chewing and speech problems were less common among those with customized lingual braces.

Are Lingual Braces Better Than Regular Braces?

Lingual braces are on par with labial braces in most ways. If aesthetic appearance matters most, then yes, lingual braces are better than regular braces. These braces stay conveniently concealed behind your teeth while working magic on them.

Benefits Of Lingual Braces

Let us take a quick look at the pros and cons of lingual braces:

Pros And Cons Of Lingual Braces

Pros

  • Lingual braces are nearly invisible.
  • They can correct most dental problems related to bites and misalignment.
  • They are customizable, which means your orthodontist can fit them to suit your comfort while working efficiently.

Cons

  • Lingual braces may not be a cost-effective option.
  • You may develop a temporary lisp.
  • Recovery from speech problems takes longer.

Care And Hygiene

What can you eat with lingual braces?

You must avoid hard, sticky, and sugary food with lingual braces like conventional braces. These can damage your braces, causing the brackets to pop off and extending your treatment time.

You must eat soft food for the first couple of weeks since your gums and teeth will be sore from the pressure of the braces. Soft fruits, dairy products, boiled eggs, minced meat, bread, etc., should be fine.

Cleaning lingual braces

Since lingual braces can be hard to reach, you might have difficulty cleaning them. A dentist’s mirror gives you a better view of the braces and can prove to be a great tool in caring for your braces.

Conclusion

The use of lingual braces can be effective in treating a variety of dental conditions. Generally, this treatment method can yield satisfactory results for orthodontists.

Opting for lingual braces is a personal choice. Remember your lifestyle preferences and discuss with your orthodontist about the same.

What Are Lingual Braces? (A Complete Guide)

Author: Dr. Tisseront

I feel very fortunate to have found a profession as rewarding as the field of Orthodontics! For over 20 years, I have enjoyed creating custom, beautiful smiles for our family of patients all over the Northern Virginia area. You can even find some of our loyal patients across the country and abroad!

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