8th Mar, 2018
Contemporary dentistry offers patients more methods to reach their smile goals than ever people. Most individuals who want to change the appearance of their smiles know about the two methods that are perhaps the most popular: conventional braces and clear aligner systems like Invisalign®.
However, patients may have other options, especially when undergoing orthodontic treatment as an adult. For example, lingual braces like the Incognito™ system are often used as an alternative to conventional braces or clear aligners.
In this blog, we briefly explain the basics of lingual braces and list four characteristics that may indicate that you are a good candidate for this orthodontic method.
What Are Lingual Braces?
When discussing a location in the mouth, the term lingual refers to a location on the same side as the tongue. So as the name implies, lingual braces consist of brackets placed on the back of each tooth with a wire connecting them, as opposed to conventional braces where the brackets sit on the fronts of the teeth.
Conventional brackets tend to be square and potentially rough due to the openings necessary to adjust the wire. Orthodontists cover these openings of conventional braces with dental rubber bands.
Lingual braces do not use this open-front format. Instead, the brackets have a longer shape, which may appear rectangular or tooth-shaped, with a clip in the centre. This clip allows the orthodontist to position the wire and keep it in place without rubber bands.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Lingual Braces?
The right orthodontic method for a patient can depend on a variety of factors, from smile concerns to insurance coverage. Before your orthodontist makes any recommendations, he or she will consider your smile characteristics as well as oral and medical histories to determine your eligibility for certain treatments.
You may be a good candidate for lingual braces if you have the following four characteristics.
1. Adequate Spacing Between Teeth
Orthodontic treatment creates unique oral hygiene challenges. As with any type of braces, lingual braces require floss threaders or stiffened floss in order for patients to clean between the teeth.
However, due to the brackets’ elongated shape, some patients end up with less space between the orthodontic wire and their gum line. If your teeth overlap or exhibit crowding, your dentist may recommend another form of treatment for your convenience.
2. Good Oral and Overall Health
All patients should be in decent health when beginning orthodontic treatment. In some cases, however, your orthodontist may require even higher health standards when placing lingual braces because lingual braces can potentially irritate the surface of the tongue during the adjustment period. Your body must have adequate healing capabilities to reduce your discomfort and risk of infection.
3. Minor to Moderate Bite Issues
Lingual braces can treat almost as many conditions as conventional braces. However, if you have a significant under or overbite, you may not be eligible for lingual braces because the bite issue would put constant pressure on the brackets that could break them off, affect tooth movement, or damage your teeth.
4. Smaller Teeth
In addition to the shape differences between conventional and lingual braces, traditional brackets tend to be larger. If you have particularly small teeth, your orthodontist may recommend lingual braces to avoid crowding your mouth excessively.
If you think lingual braces could help you transform your smile, consult with your orthodontist about the advantages and any potential drawbacks of this treatment specific to your situation.
At Orthoclinic Specialist Orthodontics we are well positioned to help you decide between orthodontic methods since we offer conventional braces, clear aligners, and lingual braces, as well as clear braces.4 Signs You Are a Good Candidate for Lingual Braces