What Are Lingual Braces?
Lingual braces are placed at the back surfaces of the teeth rather than at the front, right beside your tongue and palate. The braces are therefore hidden from view and others cannot see them even when they are right in front of you. They are therefore referred to as invisible braces.
Lingual braces are suitable when complex movements need to be made by the teeth in order to straighten them. Some of these movements include closing gaps that have been created from extracted teeth, when the height of the teeth needs to be altered and when rotations need to be corrected. In case there is a discoloration on the braces, it is hidden from view and is therefore not an issue.
Fixing The Braces
In order for your orthodontist to fit lingual braces on your teeth, he will take an impression of your teeth which will be used to make customized brackets for you in a dental laboratory. Making the brackets can take up to six weeks after which the brackets are attached to the back of your teeth. The braces will exert continuous pressure on your teeth which will then move gradually to the required position. Some patients can have the braces on for about eighteen months while others who have more severe conditions can have them on for up to thirty-six months.
When you go for dental appointments, it may take longer for your orthodontist to tighten the wires since he will need to get to an upside-down position so as to make the adjustments. The distance between your teeth on the inside is shorter than the distance of your teeth on the outside. This means that the wires used on lingual braces will be smaller and lighter.
As a result, the pressure exerted is less than for standard braces and you may be required to have the braces on for longer. Customized brackets and wires are made for each tooth and the lingual braces may therefore be slightly more costly than other braces.
There are different brands of lingual braces and your orthodontist will explain to you the options that can work well for you. Once the braces are fixed onto your teeth, you may experience some form of discomfort for at least the first two weeks. It may be difficult to eat and speak but after the first few weeks, you will be able to do these things without any problem. In order to keep your braces clean, you need to brush your teeth and braces twice a day and ensure you brush at the gum line. You should also floss daily to get rid of particles stuck between the teeth.