Lingual Braces: What are they, How they work, and Benefits

lingual braces

Do you want to straighten your teeth without anyone seeing it? Do you wish you could have a beautiful smile without wearing metal braces in front of your teeth? If so, lingual braces may be the right solution for you.

So, let’s start by understanding what they are.

What are lingual braces?

Lingual braces are a type of orthodontic treatment that uses brackets and wires to straighten teeth but with a discreet twist. Unlike traditional braces that are bonded to the front of your teeth, they are attached to the back (lingual) side, making them virtually invisible from the outside.

How do they work?

  • Similar to traditional braces, they apply gentle pressure to your teeth over time, gradually guiding them into their proper alignment.
  • The brackets are bonded to the backs of your teeth using a special dental cement.
  • Wires are threaded through the brackets and adjusted regularly by your orthodontist to track your progress.

What are lingual braces used for?

They are primarily used for the same reason as traditional braces: to straighten misaligned teeth and improve your overall bite.

They can be used to address a variety of orthodontic issues, including:

  1. Crowding: When teeth are too close together, they can become misaligned and lead to problems with chewing and cleaning. They can gradually move the teeth apart to create more space.
  2. Spacing: Gaps between teeth can be unsightly and can also trap food particles. These braces can gently close the gaps and create a more even smile.
  3. Overbite: When the upper teeth protrude significantly over the lower teeth, it can cause problems with biting and speaking. These braces can adjust the position of the upper teeth to create a more balanced bite.
  4. Underbite: When the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth, it can also cause problems with biting and speaking. These braces can adjust the position of the lower teeth to create a more balanced bite.
  5. Open bite: When there is a gap between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed, it can cause problems with chewing and speaking. These braces can adjust the position of the teeth to close the gap.
  6. Crossbite: When some of the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth or vice versa, it can cause damage to the teeth and gums. These braces can adjust the position of the teeth to correct the crossbite.

Beyond these common issues, they can also address more complex orthodontic problems in some cases, such as impacted teeth, rotated teeth, and jaw discrepancies.

lingual braces used for

Also Read: Palate Expander: Types, Uses, Benefits & Risks.

How long does it take to straighten your teeth?

The time it takes to straighten your teeth depends on several factors, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

The general range is 12-18 months. This is the timeframe to achieve noticeable results. However, some cases may take as little as 6 months for minor adjustments or as long as 3 years for complex misalignments.

Factors that influence treatment time:

  1. The severity of your misalignment: The more significant the correction needed, the longer it will likely take.
  2. Your age: Younger patients tend to have faster tooth movement than older adults.
  3. Your bone health: Teeth move more easily in healthy bones.
  4. Your compliance with treatment: Following your orthodontist’s instructions and wearing any retainers as directed will speed up the process.

Tips for a faster treatment:

  1. Maintain excellent oral hygiene to prevent gum inflammation, which can slow down tooth movement.
  2. Attend all your adjustment appointments as scheduled.
  3. Wear your retainers diligently as directed after your braces are removed.

Benefits of Lingual Braces

1. Discreetness.

The main advantage of lingual braces is their virtually invisible nature. They’re attached to the back of your teeth, making them practically unnoticeable from the front. This is ideal for people who are self-conscious about their smile or who work in professions where visible braces might not be ideal.

2. No dietary restrictions.

Unlike clear aligners that need to be removed for eating and drinking, they stay on your teeth 24/7. This means you can enjoy all your favorite foods without worry.

3. Effective for complex cases.

They can be used to treat a wide range of orthodontic issues, from mild crowding to more complex misalignments. In some cases, they may even be a better option than traditional braces for certain bite problems.

4. Less likely to break or damage.

Since they’re on the inside of your teeth, they are less prone to accidental damage from contact sports or other activities.

5. May offer faster initial tooth movement.

In some cases, they may move teeth slightly faster than traditional braces during the initial stages of treatment.

Cons of lingual braces

1. Cost.

Lingual braces are typically more expensive than traditional braces due to the specialized materials and techniques involved.

2. Comfort.

It can take some time to adjust to the feel of lingual braces on your tongue. Some people experience lisping or irritation initially, but these issues usually resolve within a few weeks.

3. Speech.

While lingual braces are less noticeable than traditional braces, they can still affect your speech slightly. You may have a lisp or difficulty pronouncing certain words, especially at first. Your orthodontist can provide you with exercises to help you adjust.

4. Longer treatment time.

In some cases, the final stages of alignment with lingual braces may take longer than with traditional braces due to the challenges of accessing the back of the teeth.

5. Requires a specialist.

Not all orthodontists are trained in placing and adjusting lingual braces. You’ll need to find an orthodontist with experience in this type of treatment.

6. More difficult to clean.

Brushing and flossing around lingual braces can be more challenging, so it’s important to be extra diligent with your oral hygiene to prevent plaque buildup and gum inflammation.

How much do lingual braces cost?

Lingual braces are one of the most expensive orthodontic options, with their cost typically ranging from $8,000 to $13,000 before insurance. This is significantly higher than traditional metal braces, which average around $5,350.

This cost can vary depending on:

  1. Location: Treatment in urban areas often costs more than in rural areas.
  2. Orthodontist’s experience: An orthodontist with extensive experience in lingual braces may charge more.
  3. The complexity of your case: More severe misalignments requiring longer treatment typically cost more.

Insurance Coverage varies significantly depending on your specific plan:

  • Some plans may cover lingual braces partially with the same percentage they cover for traditional braces (often 50-80%).
  • Some plans may offer no coverage for lingual braces, considering them cosmetic.
  • Some plans may have an orthodontic lifetime maximum that applies to all types of braces, including lingual.

Lingual braces before and after

Here are some examples of how lingual braces can improve your smile:

 lingual braces for crooked teeth
lingual teeth for overbite

How to clean lingual braces?

Cleanliness is very important. It is very important to clean your lingual braces to prevent plaque buildup, tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and stains.

Some tips that can help you clean your teeth effectively are:

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal or snack. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Angle the toothbrush at 45 degrees to the gum line and brush gently in small circular motions. You should pay extra attention to the areas around the brackets and wires.
  2. Floss your teeth at least once a day. Use a floss threader or orthodontic flosser to insert floss between your teeth and under the wires. Slowly slide the floss up and down along each tooth. Be careful not to break the floss or pull the wires too hard.
  3. After that, rinse your mouth using water or mouthwash. This will help remove any food particles or debris stuck in your braces.
  4. Use an interdental brush or water flosser to clean between your teeth and around your lingual braces. These tools can help you reach areas that are difficult to reach with a regular toothbrush or floss.
  5. For professional cleaning and checkups visit your dentist. Your dentist will remove any plaque or tartar that has stuck on your teeth and braces.

The Bottom line

Lingual braces are a great option for people who want to straighten their teeth without compromising their appearance or confidence. They’re invisible, effective, and comfortable, and they can transform your smile behind the scenes.

If you are interested in lingual braces, talk to your orthodontist today and find out if you are a good candidate for this type of treatment. If you are then you will be amazed by the results!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top