About 3 million people in the United States are wearing braces at any given time. If you are your child need this option for your dental health, then you will discover that this technology has come a long way since the time of mandatory headgear. Lingual braces are one of the most innovative forms of orthodontic improvements that are available right now for anyone who has concerns about how their smile looks.
You’re likely familiar with the traditional metal braces that receive placement on the front of each tooth. What makes this technology so advantageous is that they are virtually invisible to the people you need each day. That is why dental patients who are eligible for this option will often choose it over the traditional process.
If your dentist says that you need to wear orthodontics to give your smile a chance at better health, then these are the pros and cons of lingual braces to consider.
List of the Pros of Lingual Braces
1. Lingual braces are not seen by others when you’re eating or talking.
The most significant advantage of lingual bracelets is that no one can see you them in your mouth when you’re eating or talking. That is because the braces go on the back of your teeth instead of the front. They tend to be more common in adults than children because of this benefit. You can continue with your lifestyle (with dentist-recommended changes to eating and drinking) without dealing with the comments that sometimes come when you need to have your smile corrected.
2. Lingual braces create fewer interference issues for some people.
Another advantage to consider if you are eligible for lingual braces is the fact that it is easier to adapt to your hobbies or activities with their positioning. Most people find that it is easier to continue playing their instruments or participating in athletic endeavors because of the rear placement that these orthodontics offer.
3. Lingual braces reduce issues with potential signs of decalcification.
If your oral hygiene habits are below average, then there is an excellent chance that you are dealing with an issue of decalcification in addition to the straightness issues that you want the braces to correct for your smile. When you are dealing with this issue, then the braces can leave significant white spots on the front of your teeth. Choosing to have them installed on the back instead of the front can limit the impact of this aesthetics issue.
4. Lingual braces remain on your teeth at all times.
When you choose to have lingual braces placed on your teeth with your dentist’s recommendation, then you are receiving a low-maintenance option to help straighten out your smile. You don’t need to worry about losing them, removing them when you are eating or brushing your teeth, or getting a new product every other week to wear. These hidden braces are always working to support an improvement in your oral health.
5. Lingual braces are a qualifying deduction for medical costs in the United States.
If you are eligible to itemize your deductions on your annual tax return in the United States, then the cost of lingual braces often qualifies as a medical deduction if your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of the procedure. You’ll need to follow the current tax laws as to how much is permitted as an adjustment to your adjusted gross income. You may discover that the cost of your checkups, copays, and regular appointments can be enough to add up to a meaningful dedication at the end of the year.
That assumes the lingual braces are deemed to be medically necessary by your orthodontist. If this procedure is voluntary, then this advantage does not apply.
6. Lingual braces are sometimes covered by Medicaid.
If you qualify for Medicaid, then it may be possible to receive your lingual braces with this coverage. As with the potential tax benefit for this product, there must be a medical need for the orthodontics before you can qualify for coverage. You will also want to ask about the percentage of coverage that is available for you, and how these products could impact a lifetime maximum. You can learn more about this advantage by visiting http://www.medicaid.gov.
7. Lingual braces use modern 3-D technologies for fitting.
Orthodontists use the latest scanning and 3-D technologies to accurately model the shape of your mouth for the new lingual braces. Your teeth are modeled using CAD or CAM computer software to create an accurate representation of what your smile needs for future success. This process makes it easier for the orthodontists to fit them on the back of your teeth correctly the first time. The wires receive precision bending to match the exact curvature, shape, and even texture of your teeth. This advantage ensures that they will not come loose as some might have in the past.
8. Lingual braces allow you to eat with them in place.
Although this advantage applies to all forms of permanent braces, it is something to consider if you are looking at a product like Invisalign. You do not need to remove the inserts before you start eating, which means there are fewer disruptions to your lifestyle. There isn’t the worry that you might leave your inserts at a restaurant because you took them out to enjoy a meal either.
9. Lingual braces can improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Orthodontic issues are one of the primary reasons why people see themselves poorly. It is a common cause of shyness as well. Lingual braces make it possible to treat these concerns in a profound way without the aesthetic impacts that traditional braces can sometimes cause for people. When you know that your smile is undergoing correction, then this product can become a source of confidence immediately because you can envision a brighter future.
10. Lingual braces always come with custom-made brackets.
You don’t need to worry about your smile adjusting to the presence of lingual braces because they are custom-designed to fit in your mouth. Although there is a period of getting used to their presence on the back of the teeth, there is typically more comfort with this process when compared to other orthodontic options. They are easy to manage and clean once you get used to the new routine.
List of the Cons of Lingual Braces
1. Lingual braces are not an option for everyone.
You must be eligible for lingual braces in order for your dentist to recommend them as a way to improve your orthodontic health. Your teeth must be long enough to provide enough room to glue the braces to the inside of your teeth. That is why they are not always an option for kids or adults who have teeth that are below average in size. This option is not available for individuals who have excessive bite problems either.
2. Lingual braces are challenging to get used to when compared to other braces.
Many people who have lingual braces report that it took some time to get used to wearing the product because of its positioning. The positioning of the linguals directly impacts your tongue. This design means that you must learn to swallow without using the tongue thrust since the braces are placed on the backside of your teeth. This process is a little tricky for some, and you must continually practice swallowing in an alternative way to avoid additional dental issues in the future.
It is not unusual to experience tongue irritation during the first weeks of wearing lingual braces. Even when an orthodontist uses a smaller bracket profile, the irritation may still persist. Some patients reported feeling discomfort or pain throughout the entire time they wore this product.
3. Lingual braces can take longer to shift your teeth.
Although the results from lingual braces are similar to what more traditional options offer when you have a need for orthodontics, some people do experience a longer treatment time when choosing this option. This disadvantage is relative to your perspective and what your dentist feels is most appropriate for your long-term oral health.
4. Lingual braces change how you will brush your teeth.
It is essential that you keep your teeth clean no matter what kind of braces you decide to wear for a healthier smile. When you choose lingual braces, then you may need to brush with greater diligence when it is time to clean your teeth. The positioning of this option can make it challenging to check on whether you have brushed away all of the lingering food particles that are in your mouth. It can be helpful to use a toothbrush with a narrower tip to give you the access around the braces that you may require.
5. Lingual braces may not be available in your community.
Lingual braces are an orthodontics option that is not always available in some communities. You will need to search for an orthodontist who offers this product close to your home. It may not be through your dentist, so a referral may be necessary to have them placed on the back of your teeth. This issue could create payment difficulties for some people because it may force them to use a provider that is outside of their network. It can also increase travel times, require a day off from work or school, and other hassles that can make the process feel more difficult than it should be.
6. Lingual braces can change your speech.
Some people may find that their speech temporarily changes after they have their lingual braces placed by their orthodontist. Most of these impairments begin to correct themselves within 14-21 days of wear, but it can take longer for some people to get used to how their mouth moves with the product placed on their backside of their teeth.
7. Lingual braces cost more than traditional options.
Lingual braces are one of the most expensive options for orthodontic correction that is available right now. Although this product uses a similar manufacturing profile, there is a significant difference in the labor cost because of the rear placement on the teeth.
Prices for these braces vary based on the geographic location of your home, the amount of insurance that you may have, and the prices charged by individual offices. The overall cost of the procedure may be more than $10,000 in the United States right now. Even the minimum price averages $8,000. Traditional metal braces can be as low as $3,000.
8. Lingual braces require you to make some eating adjustments.
Although you have plenty of eating options when you choose lingual braces, your orthodontist does not want you eating whatever you want. This product tends to be more delicate than the traditional front-facing braces. You will not be able to eat hard or crunchy foods in the same way you did before they were placed on the back of your teeth. If you like snacks that fit into this category, then your eating habits may require an adjustment for 12+ months. This transition can be challenging for some people.
9. Lingual braces can offer access issues.
Orthodontists find that lingual braces are sometimes more challenging to access during checkups compare to the other options that are on the market today. You may find that their need to see along the back of your teeth can create an uncomfortable appointment. If you already don’t like the idea of having things stuck in your mouth during a visit, then you may prefer to have the cheaper front-facing braces because that will minimize this disadvantage.
These pros and cons of lingual braces are important to consider if your dentist is recommending an improvement to your smile. If you find that you are eligible to wear this product, then evaluating each key point will help you to determine the viability of this orthodontic option. Some of the disadvantages are similar to what you would find with all forms of braces, so it is often the cost of the procedure that sets people back the most.