You may have heard or seen braces that are fixed over the teeth, but have you heard of braces behind teeth? These are hidden braces. Just like their name “hidden braces”, these types of braces are fixed inside the teeth or to the back of your teeth rather than the front. They are just like the traditional braces that you know. Another name for hidden braces is lingual braces.
To fix these braces, a strong arch wire is attached to the teeth through the brackets. After some time, the arch wire goes back to its original shape and your teeth go with it. They both get straightened into an improved dental arch. This type of braces requires that you see your orthodontist for few weeks because hidden braces need to be adjusted from time to time. Braces behind the teeth can be metal or ceramic.
European Journal of Orthodontics in 2016 published a review that showed these hidden braces can achieve goals and treat abnormalities the same as traditional braces. Many celebrities wear lingual braces instead of traditional braces, like Kendall Jenner, Dakota Fanning, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber.
TYPES OF BRACES BEHIND TEETH
In choosing hidden braces, you should first talk to your dentist if they are right for you. They perform the same function as traditional braces and anyone can wear them as well. However, people who have deep overbites may not be advised to wear lingual braces because they pop off frequently. There are two types of hidden braces, one is social and the other is standard braces.
1. Social Lingua:
These are braces behind teeth that are for cosmetic purposes or to fix small gaps in the teeth, they can be worn for months and are used on the six to eight front teeth.
2. Standard Lingual:
Braces are not for cosmetics but to correct teeth abnormalities like overcrowded or misaligned teeth; they are used to correct the whole teeth and are worn for two years.
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PERMANENT BRACES BEHIND TEETH
Lingual braces can be permanent or temporary. Permanent hidden braces may be recommended to stop your teeth from going back to their former place. In some cases, after the temporary braces are removed, the teeth go back to their misaligned shape or position. Permanent braces behind teeth can also be used to achieve long term optimal results. They can cost between $150 and $500.
Reasons why some choose these permanent braces behind teeth are because they are not easily seen by people, they are difficult to damage as you do not have to remove and put them back. Your dental hygiene is not interrupted, flossing is also made easier. However, there are drawbacks to these permanent hidden braces, such as how uncomfortable it is to have braces on at all times. Having them on always can also affect the way and type of food you eat.
BRACES BEHIND TEETH COST
Lingual braces are more costly than traditional braces. This is because they take a little more time to be fixed and the process requires delicate measures. Also, while the lingual brace wires are specifically and specially bent to fix the patient’s teeth, traditional brace wires are uniformly bent to have different shapes. All these differences make hidden braces more expensive.
The cost depends on factors like:
- How long you will wear the braces
- The hospital you choose
- Health insurance package
- The type of lingual braces you choose.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists report in 2019, lingual braces can cost between $5,000 and $7,000. CostHelper.com listed the following cost for different braces
- Ceramic braces $2,000–$8,500
- Traditional metal braces $3,000–$7,350
- Aligner trays $3,000–$8,000
- Lingual braces $5,000–$13,000
BRACES BEHIND TEETH PROS AND CONS
Just like traditional braces, there are advantages and disadvantages of wearing braces behind teeth.
PROS OF WEARING HIDDEN BRACES
The pros of wearing hidden braces are:
- Lingual braces are invisible: Just like their names, they are not seen because, instead of being fixed on the front of the teeth, they are attached to the back
- No marks on the front teeth: There is very little of marks or decalcification on the front teeth. A study in 2016 showed that patients who wear lingual braces experience a much lower incidence of decalcification.
- Lingual braces are used to treat many issues: They are versatile and can be used to correct many orthodontic problems like overcrowding, misalignment and gaps.
- They are more effective than traditional braces in treating complex problems like tooth rotation and changing heights of teeth.
- They are custom made: Before lingual braces are fixed to the teeth, the orthodontist must first make impressions of where the braces will be fixed, and the impressions are sent to the dental laboratory where customized brackets are created based on them.
PROS OF WEARING HIDDEN BRACES
The cons of wearing hidden braces are:
- Braces behind teeth is time consuming and extensive: Lingual braces are delicate, so they need lots of time to be fixed. It also requires that you visit your orthodontist a few times in case of readjustment.
- They are expensive: Hidden braces cost more than traditional braces and aligners.
- Lingual braces can make you uncomfortable: All braces cause some form of discomfort after they are fixed. Lingual braces may cause significant discomfort in the tongue because they are fixed very close to the tongue.
- Lingual braces can cause lisps: Lisps are the sounds you make when you speak. This is caused by the tongue touching the back of your teeth. This is common in lingual braces because the brackets are fixed on the back sides of your teeth. A research article in the Dental Research Journal in 2014 showed that lingual braces can cause speech impairment for a month or more, unlike other braces that may take weeks.
- Just like other braces, wearing lingual braces can make it difficult to maintain good dental hygiene. Food particles can become stuck in the wires and brackets, this may cause decay if flossing and brushing are not properly done.
- You wear hidden braces for a longer period of time than traditional braces.
BRACES BEHIND TEETH REVIEW
There have been many positive reviews by patients who wear braces behind teeth. According to them, their smile is better without having to think about their braces showing. The custom made feature of hidden braces makes it easier to achieve more precise results. Many people compare traditional and lingual braces to the difference between analog and digital. The pain is minimal and results start to show within a month.
Lingual braces allow them to eat and drink all day long without interrupting treatment.
However, the speech impairment is one negative review that most people report, this may go away within months. Maybe, lingual brace manufacturers will look into this issue.
LOCATIONS FOR BRACES BEHIND TEETH NEAR ME
There are many places to get lingual braces but it is advised that you go to certified dental clinics and hospitals so as to minimize complications. In the United States, you can search on the American Association of Orthodontist website to get the location of experienced and skilled doctors. You can also use U.S. News & World Report website that houses over 150,000 dentists in the country.
For those in the United Kingdom, you can search the General Dental Council (GDC) register to locate the nearest doctor to you. All dentists and orthodontists have to be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) to practice in the UK, any doctor whose name does not appear in the register is not advised to be used.
In Mexico, Health-Tourism.com is the best way to get the best orthodontists. This website has the details of dental clinics and medical centers in Mexico performing orthodontics.
For Nigerians, you can use the services of orthodontists from clinics like Mouth Spa Dental Clinic, Smile360, Platinum Dental Surgery, and others.
WIRE AFTER BRACES BEHIND TEETH
Wires after braces or retainers are fixed to the back of the teeth after braces are taken off. These wires are invisible and are meant to improve the alignment of the teeth after the braces are taken off. They can be fixed even after removing braces behind teeth. These wires can be removable or non removable. Non removable wires are preferred because you do not have to fear about forgetting to wear them back after brushing, eating, or drinking.
They can last for many years without having any issues unless you do not use them or maintain them properly. However, they can be removed if they cause troublesome bite or difficulty in cleaning around them well, which can lead to a large build-up of plaque and calculus.
Braces behind teeth are recommended for people who do not want their braces to be seen by others. They perform the same function as traditional braces and are even preferred because of their invisibility, no marks, and versatility.
There may be downsides, like the cost, speech impairment and discomfort it causes. It is advised that you use the services of a certified orthodontist. You can locate them on different health websites that are registered. Make sure you wear your retainers or wires when these braces are removed in order to improve the alignment of your teeth.