Braces behind the teeth, also known as lingual braces, represent a less common option for braces treatment though they are becoming increasingly popular with adult patients. If you dislike the look of metal braces, you may have the option to hide your ongoing dental work behind your teeth, which helps you save face in a professional setting or simply stay more confident.
Continue reading to learn about adult braces behind the teeth, including why you might need them, how to care for them, and what they cost.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What are Adult Braces Behind the Teeth?
Lingual braces are metal braces attached to the back of the patient’s teeth. They use an archwire attached to separate brackets just like conventional braces. In general, they address the same dental issues that normal braces do, including alignment, spacing, and bite issues.
The advantages of braces behind the teeth include their invisibility as well as their customizability compared to normal braces. They can, however, cause more discomfort than conventional braces, especially in patients with an overbite, due to the position of the brackets.
What Do Braces Behind the Teeth Cost?
We mentioned that lingual braces can be customized. The wires of the braces can be individualized for each patient based on a scan of their mouth, which shortens the treatment time by making the braces more efficient. However, customization comes at a cost.
Braces behind the teeth cost more than conventional braces, running between $5,000 – $7,000 compared to $3,000 – $7,000. The cost depends on how long you will need to wear them, whether your insurance covers them, and where you live.
Just know that even the application process for lingual braces is a little more complicated and labor-intensive than normal metal braces, which also pads the price.
What Do Braces Behind the Teeth Feel Like?
When you first get your braces, you may feel a dull aching feeling as they apply pressure to your teeth. This is true of any braces, including those behind the teeth. Since these braces are on the tongue side of your teeth, you may feel some roughness there.
To counteract this, you should stick to soft foods for the first few days including rice, yogurt, mashed potatoes, eggs, or cake. Sharp edges on your braces can also cause pain in spots in your mouth, which you can address with an oral gel or orthodontic wax.
Some people wonder if the discomfort of braces behind the teeth can cause a lisp. Any braces can cause speech issues, and studies show that with lingual braces these issues last for at least a month. Basic speech therapy techniques can help you learn to speak with your braces, though once you get used to them, you should be able to speak normally again.
How to Clean Braces Behind the Teeth
Like conventional braces, lingual braces are permanent, so they don’t need to be removed and cleaned. Caring for them is important, however, since food and sugar stuck behind your lingual braces can cause a buildup of plaque, leading to tartar, cavities, or even tooth decay.
Make sure you brush your braces thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride, addressing every face of each bracket and getting under the wire. You can also use a floss threader to floss the teeth attached to your lingual braces.
An anti-cavity mouthwash can also get behind your braces and prevent cavities from forming. We recommend using a Waterpik with half water and half mouthwash to clean your lingual braces every night to prevent food and sugar from forming plaque.
As always, speak with your orthodontist if you have any maintenance and cleaning questions about your braces. If you feel a harsh or stabbing pain such as from a sharp bracket or wire, you may need the braces adjusted or fixed, so it’s important to call your provider right away. All braces come with some discomfort, but they should never hurt.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.