The term braces invoke the image of ugly train-track like things in most! If this is what is stopping you from getting them, you need to think again. A number of choices make it possible for adults to opt for teeth straightening treatment without anybody knowing about it. A good example of such a choice is the lingual braces.
The eligibility: Before you get these braces, you need to ascertain that these orthodontic devices are appropriate for you. Who are the right candidates for these braces? Teenagers and adults who have minor gaps between teeth, crowding, rotated teeth or bad bites can opt for these types of teeth braces.
However, keep in mind that individuals with certain types of bites may not be appropriate candidates for lingual braces. Moreover, if you have very small teeth, you may not be an eligible candidate for these braces. Only a competent orthodontist specialising in fitting these braces can determine whether these devices are right for you.
The treatment: You may go for one or two consultations with a dentist before you decide to opt for orthodontic treatment with these braces. Important points include advantages and disadvantages, time, side effects and cost. Make sure you ask every question that comes to your mind during these visits.
As the treatment involves fitting the brackets on the inner side of the teeth and threading the arch wire through them, it takes time. Moreover, as the back of each tooth is unique, customised brackets need to be prepared. You have to go to the dentist twice to get the teeth braces fitted. The two visits may be required at an interval of 3-5 days.
The first visit to the dentist incorporates the following steps:
- A plastic mould is used by the dentist to get an impression of the teeth
- The mould is sent to the dental laboratory where it is used to prepare the customised brackets for individual tooth
- The customised brackets are separated from the mould, arranged in wax and laid into a plastic applicator to keep them aligned
The second visit to the dentist involves the following steps:
- The dentist applies cement onto the back of the brackets
- The dentist presses the entire set into place
- The plastic portion is broken off once the lingual braces have set in
- The dentist threads the arch wire through the brackets
While you may use these orthodontic devices for straightening teeth in your upper and lower jaw, you may also opt for a combined approach. In such a setup, you may opt for lingual braces only for the teeth in the upper jaw, as they are bigger, and traditional metal braces for the teeth in the lower jaw, as they are less visible.
The aftercare: You may experience some discomfort after the treatment is over. This is because your mouth, especially your tongue, requires time to adjust to the devices. You may also experience a little soreness in the mouth and difficulty in eating, chewing, swallowing or speaking.
Mild ache inside the mouth may make it uncomfortable for you after the treatment is complete. If the pain is a little too much, ask your dentist to prescribe a mild painkiller. However, do not worry; these problems usually disappear after a few weeks, as your mouth adjusts to the orthodontic devices.
The cosmetic dentistry clinic will provide detailed instructions about aftercare for you. Some general guidelines you need to follow include brushing your teeth with an electronic toothbrush after every meal, rinsing your mouth with salt water solution, eating soft foods, and most importantly, going for regular dental checkups.