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What are Lingual Braces?

Surprisingly, of the more than four million people in the U.S. wearing various types of braces, 25 percent of these individuals are adults. This is according to the insurance company, Humana. Lingual braces are said to be the least conspicuous orthodontic braces available to children and adults seeking to improve their smile with dental appliances. Although this choice of braces does not usually get the spotlight it deserves, it can be as effective as traditional metal braces, tooth-colored or ceramic braces, and Invisalign.


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Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash


So, our orthodontist at Childers Orthodontics is not usually surprised when patients ask, “How do lingual braces work” “How long is lingual braces treatment” or “When to have lingual braces treatment.” These are just a few of the frequently asked questions by adults considering lingual braces to correct misaligned, crooked, overcrowded, or widely-spaced teeth.

What are Lingual Braces?

Before exploring when to have lingual braces treatment, it may help to first understand what they are. Lingual braces are made up of a wire-and-bracket system just like conventional braces. The primary difference is in the placement. Instead of in front, they are mounted on the back of your teeth facing the tongue, or on the side of the teeth (lingual).

This is what essentially makes them “invisible,” save and except someone takes a peek into your mouth. Interestingly, they are not just for kids and teens. Adults and moms age 20 and older can also enjoy the oral benefits lingual braces offer.

When to Have Lingual Braces Treatment

The best time to have lingual braces treatment is when your orthodontist determines that you make a good candidate for this type of orthodontic treatment. He will first do a comprehensive examination of your teeth and mouth to assess your bite and any other orthodontic issue, e.g., overcrowding, that needs correcting.

While behind-the-teeth braces are a great cosmetic alternative for self-conscious adults who want their teeth straightened without anyone knowing, they are not for everyone. It may all come down to the bite. Patients with very deep overbites or underbites may need to consider another type of braces that may be more suitable for severe bite problems.

The reason being, too much overlapping of the upper or lower row of teeth usually leaves little room in the mouth for the placement of backside braces. Also, the brackets may easily break off or get damaged.

To avoid this problem and reduce treatment costs, it is important to consider choosing an orthodontic specialist with experience installing and treating misalignments with lingual braces. This way you can get the best result possible in the shortest time, and at an affordable cost. Speaking of treatment time, remember to ask your specialist how long is lingual braces treatment in your case.

How Do Lingual Braces Work?

If you’re wondering how do lingual braces work, you may be surprised to find out that they function similarly and are as effective as traditional metal braces. The incognito braces work by exerting gentle, continuous pressure on the teeth to gradually shift them into the desired position.

The process begins with taking detailed impressions of your teeth using putty or digital images of your mouth. The impressions are then sent to a dental lab where they will be used to make customized brackets. This can take about six weeks. The upside is you’ll have braces that fit perfectly to the shape of your teeth.

The customized brackets are put into an applicator tray. The orthodontist will then mount and secure them behind the teeth using a layer of cement. The applicator tray holds the brackets in place to help them bond properly to your teeth. The tray is removed once the cement sets leaving only the brackets. The custom-made archwires are then affixed.

The brackets and archwires will be installed on each tooth in need of straightening. Two important advantages of treating the teeth individually are that should a bracket come loose, it won’t affect the others plus the doctor can easily reattach it.

How Long is Lingual Braces Treatment?

It is natural to want to know how long it will take before you can see your new amazing smile.

The length of time a patient wears lingual braces varies depending on the amount of work required. The more severe the problem, the longer the duration. It also depends on how severe the bite problem, overcrowding, gaps in the teeth, or misalignment is. Orthodontists generally estimate approximately 18-36 months.

It is safer to say that your lingual braces will be ready for removal once your doctor determines the best possible result is achieved. Ultimately, removal can be performed when your top teeth are perfectly aligned with the bottom row of teeth. Undesirable gaps should also disappear. At this point, you will be able to bite, tear, and chew without trouble.

You will continue doing regular follow-ups with your orthodontist to ensure the treatment is working and to make any necessary adjustments. People with braces behind the teeth are encouraged to care for their appliance, teeth, and gum the same way those with regular braces do.

You should avoid hard, sticky, and sugary foods until the appliance is removed. You should also continue to care for your teeth with regular brushing, flossing, and professional teeth cleaning.

On the brighter side of things, you can look forward to teeth that are permanently fixed and a dramatic improvement in your smile. Many patients feel a boost of confidence and are usually eager to up the ante on their social life. There is probably nothing else more deserving after the wait is over than to show off a smile that is perfect for you!

Request an appointment to see our orthodontist today!

Not all orthodontists offer lingual braces because it requires specialized training. Dr. Childers of Childers Orthodontics specializes and is experienced in installing lingual braces, Invisalign, ceramic braces, and metal braces.

We will customize the brackets and wires needed to offer a custom fit and a greater level of comfort. The advanced technology we use ensures precise placement and alignment of the brackets which increases the effectiveness of the treatment. We also monitor each patient throughout the entire process to ensure they get the best possible result.

If you are considering lingual braces and live in Benton, Harrisburg, or Herrin, IL, why not give us a call at (618)-438-2815 to schedule an appointment.

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Childers Orthodontics
201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815

What are Lingual Braces?

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