Everybody wants straight, beautiful teeth! But did you know having straight teeth is not only cosmetically beneficial but is also an excellent way to keep your mouth healthy and prevent periodontal disease? Most people are familiar with traditional metal braces that involve brackets and wires that are tightened and adjusted to straighten the teeth.
Braces are not an uncommon sight among the teenage population but most adults do not want to endure orthodontic treatment because of the appearance of metal braces. Invisible braces are a great workaround and allow patients of all ages to receive orthodontic treatment without unsightly metal brackets and wires. In this section, we will review lingual braces.
What are lingual braces?
Even though they cannot be seen, lingual braces use the same brackets and wires that traditional braces use, the difference being that lingual braces are placed on the backside of the teeth!
If your dentist or orthodontist has decided that you are a good candidate for lingual braces, they will take impressions of your teeth as well as scan your teeth for computer imaging. All of this information will be sent to a dental lab that will then fabricate brackets designed specifically for your individual case. The lab will take about six weeks to get your braces back to your orthodontist.
After your orthodontist receives your braces back from the lab, you will visit their office to have your braces placed. The brackets will be cemented to each tooth on the lingual side of your teeth. Using the same continual pressure as traditional braces, lingual braces slowly shift your teeth into their desired position. Depending on the extent of movement to be accomplished, treatment can span between 18 and 36 months.
Types of Lingual Braces
There are a few different brands that make lingual braces. If you do some research and decide that you prefer one above another, make sure you find a provider that uses your preferred brand. Some of the more well known brands of lingual braces include:
- Taking Care of Lingual Braces
- STb Light Lingual System
- Suresmile Lingual QT
How much do lingual braces cost?
Since lingual braces have to be custom-made, they do you run a bit more than traditional braces. Lingual braces typically start in the $5000 range and can be more depending on your individual case. Since not all orthodontists offer lingual braces, the website for the American Lingual Association of Orthodontists is a great tool to aid you in finding a provider in your area. Your provider may also offer one or two forms of financing, either in-house or via a third-party.
Oral Health Care with Lingual Braces
Oral hygiene is always markedly more difficult when you have brackets and wires to contend with! While it can be more difficult, it is extremely important that you take care of your teeth while you are going through orthodontic treatment. Especially with braces on, it is vital that you visit your dentist regularly for your professional cleaning. You may even be advised to visit one or two additional times throughout the year while you are going through orthodontic treatment. While you are in your braces, you may find it beneficial to use a floss threader so that you are able to reach behind the wires in between your teeth. A few other tips for oral hygiene care with braces include:
- Brushing at least twice daily for a minimum of two minutes, taking care at the gumline
- Incorporating a fluoride mouthwash to help strengthen tooth enamel
- Rinsing after meals to flush out food and debris from around the brackets and the teeth
Just a traditional braces can irritate the inside of your cheeks, lingual braces can irritate your tongue and cause sores. Orthodontic wax can still be used on lingual brackets just as it is on traditional brackets. You may have some issues speaking and enunciating until you get used to your new braces.
Even if you are not advised as such, you may consider squeezing in an extra visit to your hygienist while you are in braces. It is important to make sure that your teeth are healthy while they are shifting and that your gums are in good shape! Your hygienist can also help you with any irritation that your lingual braces may cause on your tongue.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment! Even though it can be expensive, the benefits of having healthy teeth that make you feel confident greatly outweigh the years of expense that comes along with treating unhealthy teeth.
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