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Lingual braces are fitted behind your teeth, making them an incredibly discreet way to straighten your smile.
Whether you’re thinking about lingual braces, or already in treatment, here are some helpful tips from patients and orthodontists in the know.
You’re never too old
Because braces are usually associated with teenagers, some adults wonder if it’s even possible to undergo orthodontic treatment. The good news is that braces are suitable for all ages, and lingual braces are a fantastic choice for anyone who wants to keep their treatment under wraps.
There’s no upper age limit for braces, the most important thing is that your teeth are healthy. Even fillings, veneers, crowns and implants can usually be worked around.
Choose an experienced provider
Make sure you do your research when you’re looking for a provider. Not every dentist or orthodontist will offer lingual braces. It requires a high level of skill and expertise, so don’t be afraid to ask potential clinicians about their experience.
Ask to see examples of other patients they’ve treated with lingual braces, as well as testimonials and reviews. Click here to find your nearest orthodontist and eBrace provider.
Stock up on orthodontic wax
Before your lingual brace is fitted, we recommend buying some orthodontic wax. Most orthodontists will provide this, or you can find it easily online. You’ll then be ready if your brace does start to irritate your tongue. Simply pop a small piece of wax on any parts that are rubbing.
If you’re too late, try rinsing your mouth with warm salty water to help soothe and heal ulcers. Remember that any initial discomfort will quickly subside after a few days.
Practice makes perfect
Lingual braces can sometimes affect your speech, creating a lisp. If this happens to you, the best thing your can do is keep talking. The more you practice the sooner things will return to normal.
Some orthodontist recommend reading the rainbow passage aloud, because it contains many of the sounds found in the English language. The other thing to bear in mind is that any changes to your speech are probably much less apparent to other people and only temporary.
Keep your teeth clean and healthy
Keeping your teeth in tip-top condition is even more important if you’re wearing braces – especially lingual braces. They provide the perfect place for food to accumulate and plaque to build up, which can eventually lead to tooth decay and/or ‘white spots’.
It’s important to carefully clean around your brace – and the brace itself. After eating, make sure you remove any leftover morsels of food. Interdental brushes will become your best friends, and you may want to consider investing in a water flosser. You should continue to see your dentist and hygienist regularly throughout your orthodontic treatment.
Look after your lingual brace
Your lingual brace for the most part should go unnoticed, but don’t forget to show it some tlc. Avoid biting into anything hard or chewy, which could knock off one of your brackets or damage your archwires. And avoid the temptation to push on the archwires with your tongue.
If you do have any breakages, let your orthodontist know as soon as you can. They’ll be able to put things right, but it could postpone the end of your treatment.
Work together with your orthodontist
Orthodontic treatment can take months or years, depending on how complex your case is – so you’ll have plenty of time to get to know your orthodontist. If you have any concerns about your treatment or the way your teeth are moving, always let them know.
Lingual braces can achieve precise movements, so towards the end of your treatment you can work closely with your orthodontist to ensure your teeth are in the best possible position.
Wear your retainers (forever!)
Most importantly of all, make sure you wear your retainers once your braces have been removed. Teeth have an unhelpful tendency to move, so if you want to keep them in their new position, you’ll need to wear your fixed and/or removable retainers indefinitely.
If you do break or lose your retainers, seek help or advice immediately. If your teeth start to move, the only way to realign them is by wearing braces again. Something you’re probably keen to avoid!