Simply put, lingual braces are braces that are attached to the inside surface of your teeth.
Why choose Lingual braces?
Chiefly for aesthetic reasons. Lingual braces are very discreet. The brackets and wires are attached to the inside surface of your teeth making it almost impossible to tell if a person is wearing braces. This makes the lingual technique rather popular amongst adults.
What are the pros and cons of lingual braces?
The most obvious benefit of lingual braces is their discreetness. This technique is as effective in solving orthodontic problems as any other orthodontic technique. But there are a few factors to consider when deciding if lingual braces are for you or not.
- They can be more expensive. Lingual braces are completely customised for each person. This degree of customisation does increase the cost of treatment.
- They often require more frequent visits to the orthodontist.
- Treatment can sometimes take longer than with conventional braces. Every orthodontic case is different and treatment duration will vary from patient to patient. On certain occasions, lingual braces may take longer to complete treatment.
What does it feel like wearing lingual braces compared with conventional braces?
Having metal brackets and wires in your mouth takes some getting used to regardless of whether they are on the inside or the outside of your teeth. The good news is you will adjust very quickly and, after a short time, you will almost be unaware that you are wearing braces.
Lingual braces, being on the inside of your teeth, can hamper tongue movements and affect your speech initially. This is usually only for a short period as one quickly learns to adapt.
While conventional braces on the outside of the teeth can irritate the inside of your lips and mouth, lingual braces have a greater effect on the tongue. It can take a while for your tongue to grow accustomed to the sensation of having braces on the inside of the teeth, but most people adapt remarkably quickly. If there is any initial irritation, your orthodontist will give you special wax to apply to your braces. This will smooth out the feel of your braces and help your tongue to adapt.
What foods can I eat if I have lingual braces?
Whenever you are wearing braces you need to be careful of what you eat. This applies as much to conventional braces on the outside of your teeth as it does to lingual braces on the inside of your teeth.
Braces are tough and are designed to withstand the rigours of chewing. But they can still be broken if one is not careful. Very sticky foods like toffee should be avoided, as well as chewy food like biltong, or crunchy foods like chips or popcorn. If you need to use a fair amount of force to eat something then that food is best avoided.
Lingual braces can be harder to keep clean than conventional braces, as it is slightly more difficult to clean the inside of one’s teeth. For this reason, a healthy diet, low in sugar is a good idea. Regular brushing and flossing is also needed.
How do lingual braces compare with clear aligners?
This a common comparison as both techniques are very discreet. In most cases, it will the be the demands of your particular situation that will determine the appropriate treatment. Aligners are more commonly used for simpler cases. If you require more complicated treatment, but would still like a level of discretion, then lingual braces will be a good option for you.
Do all orthodontists offer lingual braces?
An orthodontist is trained in various orthodontic techniques but will often choose to focus on one or two particular techniques. The lingual technique is a specialised technique and there are orthodontists who choose to focus particularly on lingual orthodontics.
Use our orthodontist directory to find an orthodontist in your area, and be sure to ask if they offer lingual braces.