Today, more and more people are on the quest for a perfect smile. But, when you’re a fully grown adult, the prospect of having a visible brace to straighten your teeth can be more than a little bit daunting. But the good news is that technology has progressed hugely over recent years and there are now a whole host of treatment options available that are both discreet and effective. One of the most discreet types of orthodontic treatment is lingual braces, which sit behind the tongue and correct the teeth from the inside of the mouth rather than the outside. This makes them virtually undetectable and invisible.
Like all types of dental treatment, lingual braces come complete with a number of pros and cons, and you must consider them all before deciding if this is the best course of treatment for you.
Lingual Braces Pros
- They’re almost invisible – The main benefit of braces behind the teeth is that, even up close, they are practically invisible once fixed to the teeth because they are positioned on the inside of the teeth rather than the outside. This means that, unless you tell people that you are going through orthodontic treatment, they will never know (unless you open your mouth particularly wide to laugh or yawn!).
- They offer efficient and effective treatment – Lingual braces are far more effective than clear aligners, especially when it comes to more complex movements such as correcting rotations, adjusting the heights of teeth, and closing gaps.
- They are fully customised and bespoke – Braces behind the teeth are completely customised for each individual patient, meaning they offer the perfect fit and can manipulate the teeth in any way necessary.
Lingual Braces Cons
- Discomfort – Whilst having the braces on the inside of your teeth makes treatment far more discreet, it also means that they are next to your tongue. This can cause some discomfort, especially whilst you get used to having them there. During the early stages of the treatment, it is recommended that you try to stick to a diet based on soft foods.
- Hygiene – Lingual appliances are also more difficult to keep clean and, if you already experience gum problems, they can actually make them worse.
- They may not be suitable for you – Although treatment is suitable for the majority of patients, in some cases, it is not possible. If you have short crowns, for example, you may be unable to have lingual braces.
- They may be challenging for your dentist – Lingual appliances can be considerably more challenging for your dentist to fit, because the distance between your teeth is shorter on the inside meaning that the wires must be smaller and lighter.
- Costs – The technology and materials needed to create and fit your lingual appliance are more expensive than those used to construct and fit traditional orthodontic appliances and, ultimately, this cost is passed on to the patient. With more difficult adjustments, more appointments, and longer treatment times, the costs can increase further still.
- Speech difficulties – The majority of patients opting for lingual treatment experience some level of speech difficulties or even a slight lisp when they initially have their appliance fitted. This usually passes after a couple of weeks once you become used to wearing them.