What are Braces Behind Teeth?
Braces behind the teeth are known as “lingual braces” or “Incognito braces” and are similar to traditional metal braces in design. The braces are named lingual as that is precisely the area where they are attached. The back of your teeth where your tongue can reach is called the lingual area. Lingual braces are attached to the back of your teeth and not the front of like other orthodontic treatments. Teens and adults who want to straighten their teeth or improve their smile without noticeable braces often go with this option as they offer a huge cosmetic advantage over the traditional metal braces, which are bulky and placed on the front side of the teeth.
How Do Braces Behind Teeth Work?
Lingual braces work the same way as traditional metal braces. Their structure comprises metal brackets and arch wires. The process for placing lingual braces behind teeth begins with –
- Taking impressions of the teeth whose alignment needs to be corrected.
- These impressions are then sent to a dental laboratory where customized brackets are created based on them.
- Once the brackets are ready, an orthodontist uses a specific process to cement the braces on the back surfaces of the affected teeth.
- The braces then apply gentle yet continuous pressure to gradually shift the teeth back in their correct position.
The duration for this treatment can range from around 18-36 months, depending on the complexity of your case.
What are the Pros and Cons of Lingual Braces?
Lingual braces come with both, pros and cons. Let’s take a look at both of them:
Pros of lingual braces:
- Invisible since they are placed behind the teeth
- Are used to treat a wide range of orthodontic issues
- Zero to minimal chances of marks and decalcification on the front of your teeth
- In severe cases of misaligned teeth, lingual braces are far more effective than other braces types for achieving complex movements such as changing the heights of teeth, correcting rotations and closing spaces.
Cons of lingual braces:
- The procedure may be extensive and require several lengthy appointments
- Requires some time to get used to speaking clearly with these braces
- These are expensive as compared to regular braces or Invisalign
- Cleaning teeth and gums becomes difficult
What’s the Difference: Lingual Braces Vs. Traditional Braces?
Traditional metal braces and lingual braces both use brackets and wires to shift misaligned teeth in their correct position. The only difference between these two is that traditional braces are worn on the front side of the teeth, whereas lingual braces are attached on the backside of your teeth.
When it comes to cost, lingual braces are more expensive than traditional braces. Especially the lingual braces which are customized to fit each tooth are particularly more expensive since they take longer to adjust. So apart from their original costs, you need to pay more for the dental visits required to fit them perfectly.
What’s the Difference: Lingual Braces Vs. Invisalign?
If you are choosing lingual braces because they are almost invisible, you have another option of Invisalign. These are a set of clear plastic trays customized to fit your mouth snugly in order to correct misaligned teeth. Since they don’t use any wires or brackets like lingual braces, they are quite comfortable and convenient. There are no metal parts that may hurt your tongue or other soft tissues in the mouth, and there are no diet restrictions with them. They are generally cheaper as compared to the lingual braces. However, they do require some dedication and discipline as they must be worn for at least 20-22 hours per day. Besides, they are suitable for 90% of cases.
Oral Care with Lingual Braces
Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine becomes all the more important when you are wearing lingual braces to prevent decay, cavities, or gum diseases. Listed here are certain tips for maintaining good oral hygiene when wearing lingual braces:
- Brush twice a day for a minimum of two minutes during each session
- Use a toothbrush with soft and rounded bristles
- Floss daily or use an interproximal brush to ensure that no food debris remains stuck between the teeth
- Also, use an oral irrigation device to flush out any food particles stuck in between brackets of the braces and teeth
- Rinse with a mouthwash which contains fluoride to strengthen teeth
- Use dental wax against lower teeth to cover the braces. This will help reduce any irritation caused by the braces
- Go for professional dental cleanings every six months to ensure that your braces and teeth remain in good condition
- Follow the diet restrictions recommended to you by your orthodontist to protect your braces and teeth
How Much Do Braces Behind Teeth Cost?
Depending on the nature of your case, a simple case may cost around $5,000, and a complex case with a customized brand may exceed $13,000. Generally, an orthodontist specializing in this treatment carries it out with special appliances. Hence, the extra price is for the expertise required for this special treatment. As with any other dental treatment, the prices of lingual braces can also vary in different regions. The price charged in a particular region usually takes into account the cost of living and running a business in that area. Hence, lingual braces tend to be costlier in some areas of the country as compared to others.
It’s advisable to get quotes from several dentists. Hence, do your research to get the best pricing along with trusted service. While getting quotes, check the extent to which aftercare is covered in the price that is quoted to you. It may or may not include retainers and follow-up checkups.
A majority of cases of crooked or misaligned teeth can be easily fixed with the help of traditional braces or Invisalign. Lingual braces though effective in treating complex cases of malocclusion are an expensive option.