People who have misaligned teeth usually choose braces to improve the look of their smile. Since braces tend to be safe and effective, they are typically the best option to straighten teeth.
Teeth can become misaligned for different reasons, such as trauma or age. People who have suffered from serious mouth injuries sometimes have misaligned teeth. In addition, adult teeth can shift over time, and the shifting can cause oral misalignment. Multiple dental conditions can be corrected with braces, such as under-bite, overbite, cross-bite and malocclusion. Even teeth that are too far apart or too close together can be realigned with braces.
Most people believe that the corrections made by braces are solely for cosmetic purposes. However, braces can be used to reduce stress that improperly aligned teeth can place on gums and jaws. The most common braces are positioned on the front surface of the teeth and are made of brackets and wires. The appearance of traditional braces is often deemed unattractive. Consequently, many adults who could benefit from braces choose to avoid them. Few adults want to wear unattractive wires on their teeth for years. However, nowadays, lingual braces allow adults to wear their braces discreetly. Lingual braces correct the alignment of teeth in a manner similar to traditional braces, but are physically located on the back side of your teeth, meaning they are barely noticeable.
Process for fitting lingual braces
Lingual braces are placed on the inner surface of the teeth that lies next to the patient’s tongue. Most of the metal components of the lingual braces are completely hidden from view. When a patient decides to have lingual braces applied to their teeth, the orthodontist must make an impression of the teeth before the braces can be fitted. After a mold is created, it is set to a dental laboratory. At the lab, lingual braces are made to custom-fit the teeth of the patient. A follow-up visit is scheduled to allow the orthodontist to apply the brackets to the back of the patient’s teeth. Cement is used to attach the brackets to the teeth. Lingual braces are able to realign teeth in the same period required to realign teeth using traditional braces. However, lingual braces can be worn by patients who are not good candidates for traditional braces, such as people who play wind instruments or participate in contact sports. In addition, lingual braces may be used by children and adults.
Other types of braces are sometimes only used for very young patients. Due to the customized fit of lingual braces, they may cost more than traditional braces. In addition, lingual braces must be applied by an orthodontist who has received specialized training. Lingual braces also require more time for adjustments due to their placement on the inner surface of the teeth.
Patients who have lingual braces can eat a normal diet, but they should avoid foods that are overly sticky or acidic. Chewy foods and carbonated drinks can damage lingual braces. Many orthodontists prescribe regular visits to a dental hygienist for cleaning.
Most patients are required to wear their lingual braces for one to three years to achieve proper alignment. Some patients may need to wear a retainer for a prescribed period to prevent their straightened teeth from returning to a misaligned position. However, once the realignment of the patient’s teeth is complete, there is usually a notable improvement in the appearance of the patient’s smile. Adults who need to have their teeth straightened can now have their teeth realigned discreetly. Lingual braces are fitted to the inner surface of the teeth, and as such they are not easily seen by onlookers, so this may be the perfect option for those who are deterred by the look of more traditional braces.