Lingual braces, sometimes called “braces behind the teeth,” are a common alternative to traditional braces. Like traditional braces, they are used by an orthodontist to help realign and straighten teeth. The difference is that the braces are glued to the backs of your teeth instead of the front, making them less noticeable.
The other major alternative when it comes to less-noticeable braces are ceramic braces. To know whether lingual braces are right for you, and how they compare with ceramic braces, consider:
- Do you care how noticeable your braces are?
- Can you deal with some temporal speech effects?
- Will they be a distraction?
- What is your budget like?
Do You Care About How Noticeable Your Braces Are?
Both traditional braces and ceramic braces are attached to the outside, or front, of teeth. Because of this, metal braces can be very noticeable when you smile, laugh, or talk (for example). Many people consider options that are less noticeable and thus less likely to make them feel self-conscious.
There are many types of braces, and some of these are specifically made to hide the brackets and wires that make traditional metal braces so noticeable. Lingual braces take the idea of putting those brackets and wires on the back side of your teeth, in effect tucking them out of sight. They are still made of metal. Ceramic braces, on the other hand, are made of plastic or porcelain which can be clear or else colored to blend in with your teeth.
Can You Deal with Some Temporary Speech Effects?
It’s common for there to be some effects on your speech for the first couple of weeks after getting lingual braces. This can include a slight lisp, slurring of certain words, or small mispronunciations as your tongue is “retrained” to work around the braces. While this is temporary and minor, it could be important if you have an occasion when you need to speak.
Both traditional braces and ceramic braces can have this effect, too. The only difference is that these braces do not regularly make contact with the tongue, and so any noticeable effects tend to go away much more quickly.
Will They Be a Distraction?
Lingual braces can sometimes make parts of your mouth and tongue sore, especially during the first two weeks or after a tightening. On top of that, lingual braces are harder for your orthodontist to work with, and so appointments might take a little longer. For these reasons, they are usually recommended for older children, teens, and adults who can better stand the long appointments and “adjustment time.”
Ceramic braces brush up against the tongue less, which many people prefer. The brackets are larger than traditional metal brackets, however. Some people report more irritation of their lips and gums as a result.
What is Your Budget Like?
Lingual braces are specifically molded to your teeth and need to be placed with skill and care. For this reason, they will normally be more expensive than traditional braces. How much lingual braces cost depends on your orthodontist’s rates, of course.
While ceramic braces do not take more skill, the materials they are made of can be more costly. Thus, they too are more expensive than traditional braces.
The cost might not matter so much if you have dental insurance that will cover lingual braces – but it’s best to check that out beforehand. Are braces really worth the investment? Check out this post to learn the pros and cons, “How Much Do Braces Cost and Are They Worth the Investment?“
Lingual Braces vs. Ceramic Braces
A Simple Breakdown
|Do you care how noticeable your braces are?||If yes: lingual braces or ceramic braces might be best for you.|
|Can you deal with some temporal speech effects?||Lingual braces might affect your tongue more.|
|Will they be a distraction?||Lingual braces can be felt more, may irritate the tongue; longer appointments. Ceramic braces might irritate the inside of lips and gums|
|What is your budget like?||Both ceramic braces and lingual braces cost more than traditional braces.|
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Learn More from The Happy Tooth Team
If you would like more information about what this treatment entails or how much lingual braces cost, contact us. Our team of professionals are here to help you better understand your smile alignment options. We invite you to download your free copy to compare Braces vs. Invisalign: