lingual bracesMany people who are less than happy with their smile delay orthodontic treatment because they don’t want braces affecting their appearance or self-image. That concern likely explains the growing popularity of clear brackets and customized aligner trays for straightening teeth. Although people generally like the idea of inconspicuous orthodontic treatment, these alternatives to traditional metal braces are not ideal for everyone. For many, lingual braces are the better option. Zeifman Orthodontics offers an overview of lingual braces, to help you decide if it’s an option that works for your lifestyle. 

What Are Lingual Braces?      

Like traditional braces, lingual braces rely on a system of brackets, wires, and bands to straighten teeth and correct the bite, but treatment is far more discreet. The brackets are hidden from view because they are attached to the back of the teeth rather than the front.

What Are the Advantages of Lingual Braces? 

Lingual braces are as effective for straightening a single tooth as they are for more complex corrections. Since lingual braces allow for maximum control of movement, your orthodontist can fine-tune adjustments toward the end of treatment to ensure the best final results. In many cases, lingual braces provide faster results and require fewer office visits for tightening and adjustments than ceramic or conventional metal braces. Since brackets are attached to the back side of the teeth, any potential discoloration that might occur during treatment will not be visible to others.      

How Are Lingual Braces Placed? 

The brackets and wires used behind the teeth are customized. To ensure a smooth, comfortable fit, your orthodontist may perform a digital scan and utilize specialized software to devise a treatment plan. Unlike braces that are attached to the front of teeth and placed one at a time, your orthodontist will likely use a customized tray during bracket application to ensure precise placement. After the brackets are cemented to the back of your teeth, the custom-fit archwire is held in place with removable bands. 

Why Lingual Braces Might Be Your Best Option 

Many people looking for a discreet method of straightening their teeth might first consider wearing less conspicuous ceramic braces or clear aligners. But, in many cases, lingual braces are the better option. Ceramic brackets are known to break easily, and the bands that hold the archwire in place can stain. Clear aligners must be removed for meals, snacks, and all drinks besides water. Teeth must be clean before the trays are reinserted, so compliance may be difficult for anyone who likes to snack frequently or drink coffee, tea, or cola throughout the day.

Lingual braces are more durable than ceramic braces, not noticeable in most situations, and a logical choice for parents concerned their children or teens may not wear their custom trays 22 hours each day.

Although lingual braces are effective for a considerable number of orthodontic issues, they may not be the ideal choice for everyone, particularly for those with a narrow jaw, small teeth, or deep overbite. Since the brackets are attached towards the tongue, lingual braces may feel unusual at first but most people adjust quickly. Although many people develop a slight lisp once their lingual braces are applied, most find the lisp resolves quickly as they learn to adapt to changes in articulation.   

Dr. Danielle Zeifman offers lingual braces (or hidden braces) in both of her office locations. If you want a new, straight and health smile without bulky traditional brackets and wires, contact Zeifman Orthodontics for a complimentary consultation. We can’t wait to get started!