The most popular type of braces used right now is metal braces. They consist of metal brackets, arch wires and elastics. While quite common and widespread, they are not your only choice for braces. You have others. Some people will opt for ceramic or clear plastic brackets. For some people, who do not have complicated orthodontic needs, Invisalign can be an option. This uses a tool called an aligner instead of the typical bracket. There are also people who choose lingual or “hidden” braces for themselves.
Lingual braces are hidden braces. They get fixed to the inside of a person’s teeth instead of the outside of the person’s teeth. They are still made up of brackets and wires, but nobody will be able to see them. Lingual braces aren’t quite the same things as traditional braces (whether those are made up of metals or ceramics). With these braces, the patient does not have brackets bonded to the teeth and arch wires held in by elastics. With these braces each bracket is custom made to fit each tooth inside of a patient’s mouth. Those brackets are affixed to the tooth using cement and then an arch wire (which is the same wire used on front mounted braces) is placed through them.
There are several advantages to choosing Hidden Braces:
- They work in the same fashion that “normal” braces work
· Cosmetically speaking, they are superior to regular braces
- If you catch food in your wires or brackets it is unusual for other people to be able to see it.
Of course, they have a few definite disadvantages as well:
· It takes a lot longer to grow accustomed to hidden braces. You can expect to hit them with your tongue as you get used to them and that isn’t going to be comfortable. Not only will it be uncomfortable, you might wind up dealing with quite a strong lisp as your mouth and tongue get used to having to work around all of the brackets and the wires.
· It is a lot harder to properly care for hidden braces. Having the brackets on the inside of your teeth makes them more difficult to clean correctly. You will also have to spend more time cleaning because you’ll have to work around your teeth and the brackets more delicately.
· If you do get something stuck in your braces you are going to be the last to know. It’s hard to find something that is more embarrassing than being told you’ve got something hanging out of or flapping around in your mouth.
· Lingual braces can be quite costly because of the custom made brackets. It’s also more difficult to find an orthodontist who has the proper training and qualifications for installing them.
When it comes to cost, hidden braces cost far more than the traditional front braces. This isn’t just because the brackets are hidden; it’s also because they have to be custom made tooth by tooth. There aren’t any distinct or definite numbers for them, but it isn’t uncommon for them to run many thousands of dollars in cost.
Here is the truth: whatever sort of braces you choose for yourself, you will have to adjust to them. Every kind of orthodontic device has advantages and disadvantages associated with it. If you are only thinking about lingual braces because of their cosmetic benefits, you might want to opt for ceramic braces instead, since they blend in to the enamel on your teeth. If you don’t need much adjusting, even Invisalign braces are a cheaper option for you.
Remember: what matters is getting the healthiest mouth possible.