Lingual Braces

Mouth open to show placement of lingual bracesWith Lingual Braces, the brackets are placed behind the teeth & are virtually invisible to others & are most commonly made of metal. Patients report irritation to the tongue along with an initial adjustment to their ability to speak. The Lingual-type may not be for patients in need of severe orthodontic treatment. Schedule a consultation to find out if the lingual kind is your orthodontic solution.

Lingual braces are a practically invisible type of braces. The word lingual means having to do with the tongue, so lingual braces are those that are attached on the tongue-side (as opposed to the lip-side) of your teeth. Lingual braces are essentially hidden on the back side of your teeth, so they don’t show when you smile & barely show when you talk.

Lingual braces function on the same principles as traditional braces that go one the front of your teeth: an arch wire is attached to your teeth to guide them to the desired position. Unlike traditional braces, instead of a square-shaped bracket, lingual braces use a custom-fitted plate that is molded & bonded to each tooth. These plates have clips in them that hold the arch wire in place.

Because they sit so close to your tongue, lingual braces do take some getting used to in ways that traditional braces or clear aligners don’t. Some patients develop a lisp, but most people can quickly overcome any speaking difficulties with practice. A sore tongue is common at the very beginning of treatment as the tip of the tongue gets used to being in contact with the metal braces. The tongue will eventually toughen up & the soreness will dissipate. In the meantime, salt water rinses & topical oral analgesics (pain relievers) can help make you more comfortable.

The cost of lingual braces is typically higher than traditional metal braces because of the more customized approach to treatment. However, if the appearance of your teeth during treatment is highly important to you & you aren’t interested in clear aligners, lingual braces may be a good investment.

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