Last updated May 9, 2022
I want to have orthodontic treatment because my teeth are misaligned, but I can't take the plunge because I'm worried about that look.
If you are concerned about the appearance, there is a treatment option called lingual braces (backside braces).
I've heard of it...but what kind of treatment is it?
Could you please elaborate on this?
Of course! Now, I want to let you know if you are considering orthodontics.
This section explains the process, advantages and disadvantages of lingual braces (backside braces).
- What is lingual braces (backside braces)?
- Treatment flow of lingual orthodontics (backside orthodontics)
- 5 advantages of lingual braces (backside braces)
- Five disadvantages of lingual braces
- What to watch out for to avoid regrets with backside braces
- Find the orthodontic treatment method that is right for you!
What is lingual braces (backside braces)?
Lingual orthodontics is an orthodontic treatment in which orthodontic appliances are attached to the backs of the teeth to move the teeth.
Also known as backside orthodontics or lingual orthodontics.
The most important feature of this treatment is that the orthodontic device is not visible when smiling.
Therefore, it is a popular treatment method for those who want to have orthodontic treatment but are concerned about the appearance.
That sounds like exactly the solution to my problem.
Next, let's look at the treatment flow of lingual braces (backside braces).
Treatment flow of lingual orthodontics (backside orthodontics)
Consultation with a dentist. Perform the necessary examinations for orthodontic treatment.
Based on the test results, the dentist performs an analysis and makes a diagnosis.
3. Tooth extraction if necessary
If necessary, teeth are extracted according to the results of the diagnosis.
4. Molding for custom-made lingual orthodontic appliances
Since lingual orthodontic appliances are complex, a precise mold is taken and a lingual orthodontic appliance is fabricated based on the model.
5. Completion and installation of orthodontic appliances
Whether to fit from one jaw or both jaws at once depends on the dentist.
6. Adjustment once a month
Patients will be sent to the hospital to check movement and make adjustments.
The frequency of hospital visits varies depending on the diagnosis.
7. End of treatmentRemove the device.
Remove the orthodontic appliance and wear a maintenance brace.
8. Retention period
The frequency of visits will gradually increase from every month to every few years.
The above is the general flow of lingual orthodontic treatment (backside orthodontic treatment).
What is the difference between orthodontic treatment and regular orthodontic treatment?
What is the major difference from the flow of orthodontic treatment on the front side,Custom-made orthodontic appliances fabricationThis is the point where the
For orthodontic treatment on the front side, the dentist attaches a device called a bracket directly to the teeth and threads a wire through it.
In the case of lingual braces (orthodontics on the backside), the backside of the teeth is difficult to see and the shape is complex, so a dental mold is taken in advance and an orthodontic appliance is made on a model and then placed on the teeth.
5 advantages of lingual braces (backside braces)
I would like to start by asking about the advantages of lingual braces (backside braces)!
1. invisible orthodontic appliances, so they are hardly noticed
With lingual braces (backside braces), the orthodontic appliance is placed behind the teeth. This means that the patient will not be aware of the orthodontic treatment even when smiling.
You want to have orthodontic treatment, but are concerned about the way people look at you with orthodontic appliances that stand out on the front side of your teeth,
This treatment is recommended for those who work in public or in sales and would have trouble with orthodontic appliances being noticeable.
2. less prone to cavities
The backs of the teeth produce more saliva. Therefore, food tends to flow more easily to the back of the mouth, and food debris is less likely to remain between the teeth and orthodontic appliances.
This bacteriostatic and bactericidal action of saliva prevents the growth of cavity-causing bacteria, thus reducing the risk of tooth decay.
Nevertheless, since it is difficult to brush the backs of teeth while looking in a mirror, the risk of tooth decay increases if the teeth are not brushed well.
When orthodontic treatment is started, the dentist and dental hygienist will provide thorough brushing instruction.You must also remember to brush your teeth daily.
3. preventing tongue habits to prevent backsliding
If you have "maxillary prognathism," in which your teeth protrude forward, or "open bite," in which your upper and lower front teeth are open,
Constantly pushing the front teeth with the tongue, or putting the tongue in the gap between the upper and lower teeth.In many cases, the misalignment of the teeth is caused by the tongue habit of
The normal place for the tongue to be placed is slightly behind the base of the upper front teeth with the mouth closed, where it bulges out, called the spot.
If the tongue is touching the back of the teeth in a relaxed position, or if the tongue is outside of the spot, such as between the teeth, the tongue may be pushing against the teeth and exerting force.
Even if orthodontic treatment is performed and the teeth are aligned beautifully, if this tongue habit is not corrected, the tongue will again exert force on the teeth and there is a high possibility of backsliding.
With lingual braces (backside braces), the orthodontic appliance is attached to the backside, which prevents the tongue from pushing on the teeth and further trains the tongue to place it on the spot.
4. safe for sports activities
Wearing orthodontic appliances on the front side increases the risk of injury from strenuous sports and dislodging of the appliances.
With lingual braces (backside braces), the orthodontic appliance is attached to the back of the mouth, so there is less concern about sports causing damage to the inside of the mouth.
5. not concerned about appearance at mealtime
When eating with someone, some people cannot have a conversation if the orthodontic appliance is attached to the front side because they are worried about food getting caught in the appliance.
With lingual braces (backside braces), if food gets entangled, you can enjoy eating and talking with peace of mind because it is behind the braces and not visible.
There are other good things besides not having to worry about how it looks.
Five disadvantages of lingual braces
I would like to know and consider the disadvantages of lingual braces (backside braces)!
1. costly and time consuming
The cost of lingual braces (backside braces) is higher than that of front side braces.
The backs of the teeth are complex in shape, so custom-made orthodontic appliances must be made and installed for each individual patient.
The cost is high because of the time, skill, and effort required to make the instruments.
In addition, the backs of the teeth are difficult to see, and the placement and adjustment of orthodontic appliances require a high level of skill and time.
And because tooth movement is different from that of the front side orthodontic treatment, the treatment time is a little longer.
2. uncomfortable until you get used to it, hard to pronounce
Because you are wearing something that has never been attached to your teeth before, any orthodontic appliance will feel uncomfortable at first. This may be especially true for lingual braces (orthodontic appliances on the backside), which are more likely to contact the tongue.
As for pronunciation, words that are pronounced with the tongue against the back of the teeth, especially the "sa", "ta", and "la" lines in Japanese, are more likely to be affected.
After about one to two months of wearing the device, you will get used to it and will be able to speak with your usual pronunciation. The more actively you practice your pronunciation, the quicker you will get used to it.
3. difficult to brush teeth
The orthodontic appliances are attached to the backs of the teeth, so the front side can be brushed as usual, but the back side requires a little practice.
To prevent tooth decay, you should be able to brush your teeth well under the guidance of your dentist and dental hygienist when you start orthodontic treatment.
4. difficulty or pain in eating
This can also happen during orthodontic treatment with other methods. It can also be difficult or painful to chew food, especially after the orthodontic appliance has been fitted and adjusted.
However, you will get used to it after a few days to a month.
In the case of lingual braces (orthodontic treatment on the backside), the dentist will adjust the height of the bite.
5. few dentists are available
Because lingual braces (backside braces) require special techniques, not all orthodontists offer this treatment method. If you are considering lingual braces (backside braces), be careful when searching for a dental clinic.
There are disadvantages to any treatment. Check it out when you go to the dentist's office and ask for an explanation of orthodontic treatment.
What to watch out for to avoid regrets with backside braces
Choose a dentist who specializes in backside orthodontics.
Because backside orthodontics requires special techniques, the number of dentists and clinics that can perform the treatment is limited.
Therefore, if you are considering treatment with backside orthodontics, you must first look for a dentist who can provide backside orthodontic treatment.
If possible, we recommend that consultations be held with dentists who can provide other orthodontic treatment options.
They will then be able to compare and discuss which treatment options, including backside braces, are best suited for you.
Think about why you want backside braces.
As explained in the previous section, backside braces have both advantages and disadvantages.
Why you want orthodontic treatment and what are your priorities (less noticeable, cheaper, etc.)
It is a good idea to think carefully about the
Backside braces are recommended for those who prioritize low visibility over cost and treatment time.
Find the orthodontic treatment method that is right for you!
In this article, we introduced the advantages and disadvantages of lingual braces (backside braces).
There are several types of orthodontic treatment methods.
Review your desired treatment method, your budget, and your own lifestyle to determine what kind of orthodontic treatment is right for you.
I will try to find a dentist with tongue braces as an option!
Please ask me again anytime.
If you don't know how to find the right method for you, or if finding a dentist seems a little daunting...,
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Author Dentist Naomi
After completing clinical training, worked in cosmetic dentistry in Tokyo