Everything You Need to Know About Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are the most invisible form of orthodontic treatment. These braces are placed on the back of your teeth on the tongue side — the lingual side in doctor-speak — so when you smile, they’re completely hidden from view. Several celebrities, like Miley Cyrus and Kate Middleton, have reportedly used behind the teeth braces to straighten teeth discreetly while in the limelight.
Even though they’re extremely effective and more under-the-radar than other treatment options, lingual braces aren’t as widely known. One of the reasons is because not all orthodontists offer lingual braces since this treatment requires specialized training.
So if you’re wondering, “How do I find lingual braces near me in Upstate South Carolina?” you’re in luck with Davis Orthodontics! Dr. Buddy and his colleagues Dr. Adam and Dr. Sarah offer lingual braces in Greer, Simpsonville and five other SC locations. Dr. Buddy has extensive experience in braces behind the teeth. In fact, he happens to be the only Premier Provider of Incognito™ lingual braces in the Upstate of South Carolina!
To help you get a better understanding of these hidden braces, we’re covering everything you need to know about lingual braces.
What are Lingual Braces and How Do They work?
Lingual braces, or Incognito™ braces, which are the type Dr. Buddy uses, are fixed orthodontic appliances that consist of brackets and wires just like traditional braces. However, they’re smaller and completely customized to you. We bond them behind the teeth on the tongue side. These hidden braces behind your teeth work in the same way as other types of braces, relying on the interaction between the brackets and wires to apply gentle, continuous pressure to shift the teeth into their ideal positions.
Now, many of our patients want to know, “How long will I have lingual braces on my teeth?” Typically, treatment time with lingual braces is comparable to treatment time with traditional braces and everyone’s treatment time is unique.
What is the Lingual Braces Procedure Like?
The process of getting these custom, behind the teeth braces is as high-tech as the treatment itself! Here’s what you can expect at Davis Orthodontics:
- You’ll swing by Davis Orthodontics for a free consultation. We take digital x-rays and Dr. Buddy performs a thorough exam. Once he has an accurate diagnosis and you’ve decided lingual braces are the best choice for you, we use our digital, intra-oral scanner to take comfortable, quick, precise digital scans of your teeth.
- Dr. Buddy will use the digital scans and plan out your tooth movements using specialized software. A 3D model of your mouth is created to represent the desired result. This is a fun and unique part of getting lingual braces — you can actually get a good idea of your lingual braces “before and after” with this technology.
- When the ideal simulation is achieved, Dr. Buddy sends off his prescription and your brackets are designed in a lab to specifically fit each one of your teeth. Based on Dr. Buddy’s specifications and the bracket placement, your braces wires will be robotically bent for maximum accuracy. The process of creating your Incognito™ lingual braces will take a few weeks.
- As soon as your brackets and wires are complete, they’re sent back to our office. You’ll come back in and Dr. Buddy will bond the braces to the back of your teeth painlessly and efficiently. He uses special glue to adhere the brackets in their correct places and then threads your arch wires through them before sending you on your way.
- You’ll come in for regular appointments—typically every 6 to 8 weeks — throughout your lingual braces treatment so Dr. Buddy can keep an eye on your progress and make any adjustments.
- When your Incognito™ braces come off, we’ll fit you for a custom retainer, which you’ll wear according to Dr. Buddy’s instructions. Wearing a retainer is the only way to ensure your beautiful, new smile lasts a lifetime.
Are Lingual Braces Comfortable?
Similar to regular braces, there is an adjustment period with lingual braces since you’re not used to having anything on your teeth, especially on the tongue side. Some patients also notice their speech is initially affected or their tongue gets irritated. But rest assured, your tongue will quickly acclimate to sharing space with your brackets and wires.
Most patients say it takes between a few days to one to two weeks to fully adjust. The good news is that since Incognito™ hidden braces are fully customized and they’re smoother and smaller than other braces, Dr. Buddy is able to design them as comfortable as possible, making the adjustment period even easier. And because lingual braces are behind your teeth, it means your gums, cheeks and lips aren’t affected like they can be with braces on the front.
All in all, once you get used to wearing them, you won’t even notice you have lingual braces behind your teeth.
What are the Benefits of Lingual Braces?
- Because lingual braces are placed behind the teeth, they’re the least visible type of orthodontic appliances, even Invisalign®. They’re ideal for professionals, adults, teens or anyone who wants to keep their orthodontic treatment under wraps.
- The high-tech treatment planning process lets Dr. Buddy plan out each individual tooth movement for more control and a smile that looks just as promised.
- Braces behind the teeth are 100% customized to your teeth and use state-of-the-art robotic wire-bending technology for unparalleled precision.
- The brackets are smaller, lower profile and smoother than standard brackets, making them very comfortable.
- Lingual braces aren’t as susceptible to damage as traditional braces.
- If you don’t need all your teeth straightened, lingual braces can be placed on only the teeth that need them, which can bring down your lingual braces cost.
How do you Brush Your Teeth with Lingual Braces?
Very well! With braces, good oral hygiene is important because bacteria and food debris can collect in the extra nooks and crannies of brackets and wires. However, the great news with lingual braces is that their smoother design means less spaces for food and debris to collect than traditional braces.
Since you can’t see your lingual braces when you look in the mirror, we suggest getting a dental mirror so you can see your braces while cleaning them. Floss first, using traditional waxed dental floss and the aid of a floss threader, or use a water flosser like a Waterpik. Then use a soft-bristled manual or electric toothbrush to clean each tooth and bracket. Finish with a fluoride oral rinse for extra bacteria-fighting and to get rid of lingering bad breath.
What Can You Eat and Not Eat With Lingual Braces?
You’ll be glad to know that with braces you can still eat most foods. Rule of thumb? Just avoid sticky, crunchy, hard, or chewy foods that can damage or even break lingual braces. Cut foods like meat, apple and raw carrots into small, bite-sized pieces. If teeth are sensitive when you first get braces or after an adjustment, soft and cold foods like yogurt, smoothies, or homemade natural popsicles are soothing and healthy.
Who is a Candidate for Lingual Braces?
Just about everyone is a candidate for lingual braces. In general, if you’re a good candidate for traditional metal braces or clear braces, you’re a good candidate for Incognito™ behind the teeth braces too!
How Much are Lingual Braces?
Like most traditional braces, a number of factors go into your lingual braces cost, including the complexity of your case and the duration of your treatment. When you come in for a free consultation, we’ll take diagnostic records and Dr. Buddy will examine your mouth. We’ll be able to let you know what your lingual braces cost will be. We strive to make treatment affordable for our patients, we accept all major insurance plans, and offer interest-free, flexible financing. We work with you to find a solution that fits your budget.
Want to find out if you’re a candidate for or have any other questions about lingual braces in Upstate SC? Come see us at any of our seven locations: Greer, Simpsonville, Spartanburg, Clemson, Anderson, Walhalla, or Greenville. Schedule a complimentary consultation at Davis Orthodontics today!