3 Pitfalls of Lingual Braces and How to Avoid Them
Lingual braces are fixed orthodontic appliances that help to conceal your orthodontic treatment.
While traditional braces—also known as buccal braces—have brackets and archwires located on the outside of your teeth, lingual braces affix behind your teeth.
Perhaps you can relate to why some have chosen this type of treatment. After all, getting metal braces after you’re past your teen years presents its problems.
You want to enjoy the advantages of a straight smile, but it’s difficult to make the necessary sacrifices for orthodontic treatment—especially when it comes to your appearance.
With braces, you’ll eventually enjoy a straight smile. Yet, in the meantime, you’ll still endure brackets and archwires that draw attention to your treatment and increase your embarrassment and self-consciousness.
These problems can make lingual braces appear to be your most logical option.
However, hiding your braces behind your smile can create dental complications you wouldn’t experience otherwise. Here are 3 pitfalls of lingual braces you’ll want to avoid:
1. Lingual Braces Can Irritate Your Tongue
It’s no secret that metal braces—of all types—can irritate your mouth and tongue. With any fixed orthodontic appliance, you’ll need to adjust to having uncomfortable brackets and wiring in your mouth.
However, lingual braces present a slightly different problem.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, a meta-analysis of scholarly literature revealed lingual braces patients can be more likely to experience pain in the tongue than those who wear buccal braces.
In this particular study, researchers also found that lingual braces patients (compared to buccal braces patients) had a statistically increased risk for…
- Pain in the cheeks.
- Pain in the lips.
- Experiencing speech difficulties.
While lingual braces help keep your orthodontic treatment a secret, you may suffer from an increased amount of pain during treatment compared to traditional braces.
2. Lingual Braces Create Oral Hygiene Difficulties
In addition to increasing your pain, lingual braces can also create additional difficulties for your oral hygiene routine.
When you eat a meal, your braces become a trap for food, requiring careful cleaning to avoid dental decay. Brushing your teeth means cleaning around your brackets and wires, and flossing also requires you to maneuver around your archwires.
Cleaning your teeth with buccal braces is challenging enough, but lingual braces only worsen your difficulties.
Because your brackets and wires are behind your teeth, your attention is directed toward harder-t0-reach places. The result is a time-consuming process.
3. Lingual Braces Make It Difficult to Spot Dental Problems
The location of your lingual braces creates yet another challenge—it’s more difficult to see whether you may have dental problems, such as cavities. Cavities are a real threat with metal braces as trapped food can easily rot your teeth, and the location of your lingual braces will make it more difficult to see the white spots of demineralization or the yellow of tooth decay that’s forming near your brackets.
To prevent any problems, you’ll need to regularly inspect what’s going on behind your smile, a tedious task that will probably require you to use a dental mirror.
While lingual braces create a tradeoff between discreetly straightening your teeth and enjoying convenience, you can correct your malocclusion without compromises.
The solution is a simple yet state-of-the-art method for straightening your teeth—Invisalign clear aligners.
Invisalign clear aligners are almost invisible, allowing you to achieve a beautiful smile without the drawbacks of brackets and wiring.
Not only will you spare your tongue the irritation of constant contact with metal, but you’ll also be able to remove your aligners to easily clean and inspect your teeth.
Transitioning to each new phase of your treatment will be easy. Simply take your old aligners out, and put your new aligners in—and never worry about adjustments at the orthodontist’s office.
You’ll also enjoy the benefits of maintaining your confidence. Because your aligners’ material is clear plastic, you can count on Invisalign to conceal your treatment as you laugh and smile.
To see if Invisalign is your best orthodontic option, schedule a free Smile Evaluation with your local MiSmile Invisalign provider.