Lingual Braces

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These are fixed, fitted braces that are attached to the back of your teeth in order to reduce any visible signs of orthodontic work.  The consist of the same materials as conventional braces – brackets and arch wires – but are custom made and applied to the rear of your teeth rather than the front.  This means they are perfect for older people undertaking orthodontic work, or for those who are worried about aesthetics. 

Fitting Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are always custom made to ensure a comfortable fit.  This means that you will have to have impressions made of your teeth – done using dental putty pressed into the teeth leaving a detailed replica of your mouth.  A technician makes your braces in a laboratory using these impressions.  The next appointment with your dentist will be to have the braces fitted, attached to the back of your teeth using cement.  Following on from this you will have regular check ups to ensure that the braces continue to perform. 

Lingual Brace Discomfort/Pain

Once you have been fitted with a lingual brace your teeth will be sore as the pressure placed on them starts to move them.  Your mouth is very sensitive to any change, and whenever you have your braces adjusted it is likely that your teeth, and possibly your gums, will cause you discomfort.  You can take regular pain-killers such as ibuprofen to help you deal with this. 

Lingual Brace Aftercare

Once you have been fitted with a lingual brace you will need to ensure that you look after it properly. 

  • Brushing your teeth regularly ensures any food debris is removed
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything too sugary that could cause erosion
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water to reduce any discomfort caused by the rubbing of the braces, this is especially helpful in the initial stages after they are fitted.
  • Avoid hard foods in the first few days of having lingual braces fitted.

It is likely that you will experience some discomfort and some speech impediments in the first few days after your lingual braces are fitted.  This will ease over time, and if it doesn’t, it might mean that they need to be repositioned.

You will be scheduled for routine appointments with your orthodontist every six to eight weeks to have your lingual brace adjusted.  This allows it to continuously exert the right amount of pressure in the right places and allows your treatment to advance as quickly as possible.  

Lingual Brace Advantages

  • Cosmetic.  Unlike normal braces lingual braces are unseen by others, being hidden behind the teeth rather than attached to the front. 
  • Speed.  Lingual braces achieve results in the same amount of time as normal braces.
  • Sports.  Lingual braces are good for people who take part in a lot of sport as they are difficult to knock or apply any form of impact to.
  • Adaptability.  Lingual braces can be used for any age not just for young patients.

Lingual Brace Disadvantages

  • More expensive.  Orthodontists using lingual braces are highly specialised and use new equipment to apply treatments.  Not all orthodontists are able to complete this form of brace, and as a result it is more expensive.
  • Longer adjustment period.  Trapping your tongue or getting food stuck in a lingual brace is a lot easier than a conventional one, making the time it takes to get used to one longer.  Once you do get used to it, however, it will feel totally natural. 
  • Hygiene.  You may have to have more visits to a dental hygienist in order to clean the back of the teeth due to the high possibility of getting food trapped. 

Extra equipment.  You may have to wear additional equipment at night to ensure that you are exerting enough pressure on the teeth. 

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