You know about traditional braces, and you have probably heard about or seen clear aligners. But do you know about the braces that no one sees? Lingual braces are braces that go on the tongue side of your teeth, leaving nothing but your pearly whites shining out from your smile while you undergo modern orthodontic treatment.
Unlike clear aligner therapy, lingual braces use the same equipment as traditional braces, but not in the same way. Instead of having the brackets affixed to the front of your teeth, they are on the back. Also, the wire works differently in this type of braces. However, the effects are the same—a straighter smile than you had before wearing braces.
A significant difference from traditional braces is that lingual braces are nearly invisible to other people. No one will see the brackets or wires when you smile. Also, unlike conventional braces, you can brush and floss regularly, meaning like you would when you didn’t have braces.
Bloom Orthodontics in Long Beach works with Inbrace® lingual braces technology. Inbrace is a local company headquartered in Irvine. Their Gentleforce® Technology uses computer modeling and artificial intelligence algorithms to discover the fastest and most efficient way to move your teeth into a better position than they are now. In other words, by combining math and science, Inbrace lingual braces move your teeth into the proper place with less force, which is foundational to healthy tooth movement.
Who Are Good Candidates for Lingual Braces?
The best way to know if you are a proper candidate for this type of braces is to see an orthodontist. However, when you do see him or her, be sure that they can use the lingual braces treatment method. The technique for lingual braces is different than traditional braces, so continuing education is required for an orthodontist to use them. (Bloom Orthodontics is trained to use lingual braces for our patients).
Every orthodontic case is different. However, some of the requirements include:
- Patients have minor to medium esthetic challenges, much like clear aligners.
- Per Colgate, the teeth must be long enough to affix the brackets to, which means that children are often not good candidates for lingual braces.
- Also, it would be better if the bite was in alignment, or at least not severely misaligned. For example, patients with significant bite issues, like a deep underbite, might not be an ideal candidate for lingual braces, as their condition might result in more brackets popping off than other patients.
Won’t Lingual Braces Be Weird for My Tongue?
Per Healthline, the answer is yes. The tongue will suffer minor irritation coming into contact with the brackets. However, the same problem occurs with traditional braces except on the cheek side of the teeth. The tongue will need to learn to adapt to the lingual braces. Also, wax on the brackets can help alleviate this discomfort.
Another challenge for many patients is it can be difficult to talk at first with lingual braces. Your tongue touches the back of your teeth when you speak. With the brackets there, the tongue does not make contact the same way, and it affects the way you sound.
However, speech changes are also a side effect of traditional braces. So, no matter which form of braces you have, you will need to learn to speak clearly with them. Many patients find that with practice, they can overcome the speech challenges within the first few weeks.
The Benefits Often Outweigh the Drawbacks of Lingual Braces
Your lingual braces might indeed cause discomfort or speech problems. However, in some cases, enduring the early challenges of lingual braces while you are improving your smile is worth it.
Why is it worth it? It’s worth it because no one sees the hardware doing the work.
No matter which type of modern orthodontic treatment you use to improve your smile, you will experience some minor discomfort or inconvenience. For many patients, the benefits of lingual braces make it worth enduring the drawbacks.
Want to know if lingual braces are right for you? To schedule your free consultation today, call Bloom Orthodontics office in Long Beach at 562-421-8883.
Bloom Orthodontics in Long Beach has a long history of improving our patients’ smiles. We provide modern orthodontic treatments delivered with old fashioned excellence in patient experience. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
“Lingual Braces: The Upside and Downside of Braces on the Back Side.” Healthline.com. Web. 11 November 2019. <https://www.healthline.com/health/lingual-braces-2>.
Wiley, Carol. “What Are Lingual Braces?” colgate.com. Web. 11 November 2019. <https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/adult-orthodontics/what-are-lingual-braces-0414>.