Lingual braces are a fixed brace which the patient wears all the time in order to straighten crooked or poorly aligned teeth. They look similar to conventional braces except that they are worn at the back of the teeth which mean that they cannot be seen by another person.
This brace is chosen for this very reason as well as the aesthetic advantages.
One example of this is the ‘Incognito’ set of lingual braces which is a state of the art device that uses the latest materials and technology to deliver an attractive and effective form of treatment. This ‘invisible’ type of brace along with STb social 6 braces is a good alternative to other types of braces on the market.
What are Lingual braces?
Lingual braces are composed of small metal brackets and wires which are fixed to the back of the teeth using a dental glue or resin. They are designed to meet your individual needs and are an effective form of brace to treat a range of orthodontic problems.
This brace can be worn on both the upper and lower teeth.
What do Lingual braces treat?
This fixed brace is used to treat the following conditions:
- Overcrowding (too many teeth in the jaw)
- Impacted or misaligned teeth
- Malocclusion (‘bad bite’)
- Gaps in between the teeth
However, like any brace they are not suitable for everyone. This brace is ideal if you a particular bite problem, e.g. overbite or a small set of teeth. In these cases you need to consider another type of fixed brace such as Damon braces.
Advantages of Lingual braces
There are several benefits to wearing these braces which include:
- Aesthetically pleasing (hidden behind the teeth so cannot be seen).
- Can be combined with a traditional brace
- Does not have to be removed for cleaning
And the disadvantages? Price is the main issue as this brace has to be custom made which increases the cost. Plus it is more difficult to fit and the period of treatment is longer than other braces such as Inman Aligners or 6 Month Smiles.
This brace is more awkward to clean and is painful to wear in the first few weeks. But this soon eases.
This brace is not suitable for every patient and is not available to the same extent as many other types of braces. If you are interested in this brace then be prepared to spend some time finding a clinic and orthodontist who fits Lingual braces.
How does a Lingual brace work?
This brace is glued to the back of your teeth and once there, it applies continual pressure on the teeth, forcing them back into position.
It takes around 1 to 3 years for the results of this brace to be seen.
Fitting Lingual braces
This is a two stage process. It starts with the initial consultation followed by the orthodontist taking an impression of your teeth. This involves a mould filled with dental putty which you bite into to leave an imprint of your teeth. This mould is sent to a dental laboratory where it is used to create the individual brackets and wires of your brace.
The second stage is where you are fitted with your new brace. The orthodontist applies dental cement to the rear of the brackets before attaching this to the back of your teeth. This is done with the help of a plastic applicator which is discarded once the cement has set.
This is followed by the insertion of the wire which is threaded through the brackets. This wire has been designed to the exact specifications of your teeth and tries to move back to its original place, pulling the teeth with it.
Expect some pain and soreness once the brace has been fitted. Your teeth will ache and you may need to adjust the way you speak and swallow in order to become accustomed to this brace.
Rinse out your mouth with warm salt water which will ease any discomfort. Stick to soft foods to start with and ensure that you clean your teeth after each meal.
Pay careful attention to oral hygiene and visit your dentist on a regular basis. You will also have to visit your orthodontist on occasions for him/her to check the condition of your teeth and the brace.