Orthodontic patients these days are fortunate to have more treatment options than ever before! Some are well-known, such as traditional braces and clear aligners, while others don’t get quite as much publicity, like lingual braces. These braces can be an excellent option for patients looking to straighten their teeth without anyone knowing, and have practical and cosmetic advantages when compared to other methods, but many people have never even heard of them!
Here at Zeifman Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer multiple treatment options, including lingual braces. Let’s take a closer look at how they work, who’s a good fit for them, and what factors should be considered before choosing them to straighten your smile.
What are lingual braces?
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces in several ways. For instance, both have brackets attached to the surface of the teeth, and both use wires and rubber bands to slowly move them into more desirable positions. However, the brackets used with lingual braces are placed on the back sides of the teeth facing the tongue, rather than the front of the teeth. This makes them virtually invisible, which can be especially compelling for teens and adults who are image-conscious!
How do lingual braces work?
Before lingual braces are placed, we will take a digital impression using a scanner of the teeth to customize the brackets to fit each patient’s mouth perfectly. They are then placed onto each individual tooth with wires connecting them. These wires are also customized by a robot according to each patient’s specific needs.
It’s essential to have the perfect fit from the very start when it comes to putting lingual braces on. With traditional braces, standardized brackets are placed one at a time on each individual tooth, but to properly position them, we use a customized tray that allows us to cement all the brackets to the teeth at the same time. Once placed, they work in much the same way as traditional braces do to gently move the teeth into the desired positions over time.
What are the pros and cons of lingual braces?
Most patients who are drawn to lingual braces love how discreet they are! For adult patients especially, metal braces are not ideal in professional or social situations. They have all the benefits of traditional braces, but move the teeth without being so obvious!
When it comes to treating most common orthodontic issues, particularly mild to moderate cases, lingual braces can be just as effective as other treatment options. Additionally, any discoloration that comes from wearing braces will be on the inside of the teeth instead of more visible on the outer surfaces, giving you a sparkling smile.
As we mentioned briefly above, lingual braces aren’t a good fit for everyone. When you schedule a FREE consultation with us, Dr. Zeifman will be able to tell if you are a good fit for lingual braces after a thorough examination.
Lingual braces can also cause some difficulties with speech, especially in the beginning, since having braces on the back of the teeth can take some getting used to! Patients may have a slight lisp until they become accustomed to the brackets, due to the contact the tongue makes with the back of the teeth when someone is speaking. This side effect is almost always temporary, however.
As with traditional braces, some slight discomfort or soreness may occur from time to time. When wearing lingual braces, this is most commonly felt on the tongue, particularly when eating or speaking. This pain and irritation will decrease the longer the braces are worn.
Are lingual braces right for you?
When it comes to any orthodontic treatment, it’s important to take your specific needs, personal preferences, and lifestyle into consideration. They have food restrictions just like traditional braces, so you will need to avoid anything that’s hard, crunchy, or sticky throughout the treatment process.
Get a healthier, straighter smile with Zeifman Orthodontics
If you’re looking for an alternative to metal or ceramic braces, lingual braces can be a great option for improving your oral health and giving you a straighter smile! Would you like to learn more about how they can give you the smile you’ve always wanted? Schedule a free consultation today! Dr. Zeifman will let you know if you’re a good fit for this treatment option. Even if you aren’t, we have plenty of other treatment options for you to explore! Get in touch today to find out more.