Customized Lingual Braces
While braces may look cute or cool among teenagers, some adults may instead feel somewhat differently when thinking of metal braces on their teeth while smiling at bosses and colleagues. Although it is not a bad thing to be self-conscious, as this is a fairly common and understandable response from adults seeking orthodontic treatment, this may prevent someone seeking a better-looking and healthier smile from wearing braces. Fortunately, we here at Dr. Amy James and Associates Orthodontists are pleased to share that there is a solution to this: lingual braces!
Corrective appliances such as braces can resolve issues that result in a bad bite such as crooked, crowded or protruding teeth. A bad bite can have health complications. For instance, incomplete chewing of food excessively taxes the digestive system. Irregular teeth are also more susceptible to damage, disease, and other complications.
Orthodontic problems result from many causes: inherited problems with tooth development, accidents, disease, and behaviors such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. These can result in speech defects and the erosion of self-esteem.
Normally, braces are placed on the front-facing portion of teeth. These are called labial braces, and they are easily visible when a patient smiles with them on. Meanwhile, some braces are installed on the tongue-facing portion (or the backside) of teeth. Lingual refers to the tongue. Lingual braces are attached to the inside surface of the tooth rather than the outside surface. An advantage of lingual braces is that they are not as noticeable as traditional exterior braces that are exposed when talking or smiling.
Lingual braces help serve an aesthetic purpose. Whether or not you will be wearing your braces at the back or at the front of the teeth, their overall effect will remain the same. Your teeth will become straight with lingual braces for as much time as it would take for labial braces to do the same thing.
Furthermore, similar to labial braces, lingual braces will also give you some amount of discomfort while your mouth is still getting used to them. Unlike labial braces, however, lingual braces do not irritate the lips. Instead, they may abrade the tongue. This could also give you a temporary lisp during the first few weeks of wearing your braces, as the braces affect the way that the tongue touches the mouth during speech. Whereas all braces will give you a temporary lisp, lingual braces can give you a lisp for about a month.
Some patients might not be able to wait that long. They may have careers in which a lisp might make things awkward for everyone involved. Others, still, tend to have more difficulty while adjusting to the braces. However, this should not be a deterrent to helping you achieve that beautiful smile you deserve. Some speech therapy could help you lose that lisp and make it less obvious that you have been wearing lingual braces at all.
How Are Lingual Braces Placed?The process by which we place lingual braces is not all that too different from placing labial braces. First, we would glue on the brackets into the inside portion of the teeth. These brackets are similar to those we use with labial braces. After that, we would add in the wires. The last step would be to adjust them so they could pull your teeth to the right places. Lingual braces also use rubber bands to help adjust your bite, but these are inserted on the backside of the tooth, instead.
Placing braces this way used to be more difficult and less successful in the past, but new techniques and scientific advancements have made it easier and more effective for everyone. If you are planning on having lingual braces placed on your teeth soon, or you would like to learn more about them, The most important first step is to make an appointment at Dr. Amy James and Associates Orthodontists by calling us at (856) 528-8311 today.
We'll give you some options and the cost associated with each. Certain procedures may be covered by insurance and we will work with you.