“Lingual” means “tongue”, so lingual braces are metal braces that are attached to the inner teeth, which face the tongue. That has the large advantage of keeping the braces hidden from view, so they are also called “invisible braces.” Lingual braces provide results comparable to those of conventional braces.
What Are the Advantages?
Lingual braces are hidden from view, which makes them attractive to people who either don’t want to advertise they’re having their teeth straightened, or who have a job that would not permit them to get traditional braces. Actors or models, for example, may prefer lingual braces over traditional braces.
Lingual braces correct more types of problems than aligners like Invisalign®, which can really only treat simpler problems. Lingual braces can close gaps, correct rotations and change the heights of teeth. They are even relatively forgiving of poor dental hygiene; the patient could still end up with discolored teeth, but the discoloration will be on the inside of the teeth and therefore hidden from view.
What Does the Treatment Involve?
The process of placing the lingual braces is fairly similar to placing traditional braces. Our orthodontist takes an impression of the patient’s teeth and sends it to a laboratory that makes customized brackets. Making the brackets takes around six weeks. The orthodontist then attaches the brackets to the backs of the patient’s teeth.
Like traditional braces, lingual braces work by applying gentle and constant pressure on the teeth. That pressure gradually shifts them into their right places and alignment. Depending on the severity of a patient’s bite or overcrowding, treatment can take between 18 to 36 months.
Caring for Lingual Braces
The rules for dental hygiene are the same for lingual braces as for other braces. The patient should brush and floss regularly. They should use a mouthwash and visit our orthodontist regularly to have their teeth professionally cleaned and their braces adjusted. The patient should also avoid sticky foods, like taffy, and hard foods, like nuts or apples.
Who is a Good Candidate for Lingual Braces?
Most people are good candidates for this type of orthodontic treatment. To determine if lingual braces can benefit you, set up an appointment at Ragan Orthodontics. We have three conveniently located offices in Dallas. Working with lingual braces requires extra training that not all orthodontists undertake. Let Dr. Ragan be your guide as you explore this incredible option. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.