The most common treatment method for straightening teeth and correcting bites has been braces for many years. However, new types of braces have been developed as technology has advanced. One example is lingual braces, sometimes also referred to as incognito braces.
Like traditional braces, lingual braces are made of metal. There is one major difference from braces that have been available for a long time; lingual braces are fitted on the inside of your teeth instead of the outside. This provides the benefits of braces without the embarrassment of visible metal braces.
Many patients are candidates for lingual braces, although they might be considered most popular among adults who especially want to hide the fact that they are undergoing orthodontic treatment at a later age. A consultation with an orthodontist is necessary to determine if you are a good candidate, or if a different option might be more effective.
Braces that require wires and brackets on your teeth have a reputation for causing discomfort. Lingual braces are no different, and in fact, they tend to be a bit more uncomfortable due to their placement on the inside of your teeth. It feels somewhat unnatural having the metal inside your mouth where your tongue brushes against it often. For the first week or so, your tongue may feel a little sore as you get used to it having to share space with the braces.
Talking and eating may be awkward after you initially get lingual braces. A slight lisp or whistling sound is common when speaking at first, but disappears as you grow accustomed to the braces. The same goes for eating, as you’ll get used to how the braces fit in your mouth.
Because of their location, lingual braces are difficult to clean. Food tends to get stuck in the braces and it’s hard to remove, especially since you can’t see behind your teeth well. It’s hard to know how dirty or clean your braces and teeth are. Regular brushing and flossing is key to maintaining good oral health while wearing lingual braces.
If achieving the perfect smile while hiding treatment is important to you, talk to an orthodontist about the possibility of lingual braces.
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