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Lingual vs. Traditional Braces: Which Is Best for You?

Adult-woman-with-braces

Getting braces when you are an adult is a particularly difficult decision for a number of reasons, and then there’s the confusion of whether to go with traditional or lingual braces! In order to make the right choice, it is important that you first understand what the differences between these two are and that’s exactly what we are going to discuss next.

Privacy
Privacy is the biggest advantage which lingual braces have over traditional braces. While a metal bracket in front of the teeth is what we usually expect after getting braces, that’s not what happens when you decide to opt for linguals. Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth, therefore making them totally invisible to anyone and everyone except your orthodontist. There are also braces available which are only placed over the front six teeth – the teeth that are predominantly on show when you smile. These, again, are placed behind the teeth so they are invisible to anyone looking at your teeth. They are extremely effective in moving the teeth into place gradually, and treatment generally takes between six and sixteen weeks depending on the patient.

Are They Similar?
Traditional and lingual braces are similar in the way that both types are a combination of metal brackets and wires, but some significant differences are indeed present in their modes of getting the job done. Most notably, lingual braces slowly reposition the teeth and gum from their concealed positions behind the teeth, whereas traditional braces do the same from the front of the teeth.

Do Lingual Braces Affect Speech?
Perhaps this is the reason why not everyone opts for lingual braces because even though they cannot be seen, their presence affects the speech in most cases. The good news is that people adjust to them in a few weeks to a month at most and soon the speech problems are gone. Traditional braces can affect speech too so they are not exactly a solution to this problem, but the effect is usually not as profound as it is with lingual braces. Which One Works Faster? It’s a stalemate here really, since both take about the same time to get your teeth fixed, which is anywhere between 18 to 24 months. Once the treatment period is over and the braces are taken off, you might have to wear retainers indefinitely to keep the teeth in place.

Which One is Cheaper?
Traditional braces are cheaper to get compared to lingual braces because they require less time and effort from the orthodontist, compared to lingual braces. Linguals on the other hand, need the attention from more experienced orthodontists and for a much longer period of time. This does make them somewhat costlier than their traditional counterparts unfortunately.

Maintenance
Maintaining all types of braces takes dedication because you will need to clean, brush and floss frequently and meticulously. There will also be some restrictions in regard to sticky or hard foods such as candy, fruits, hard shells, etc. When compared though, one would have to say that lingual braces will require a bit more effort to clean, but the little extra effort in the beginning is hardly significant in the long run. As you can see, no one method is more successful than the other and each have their own set of pros and cons. What really matters is that you choose the method according to your own priorities and get it done by a reliable and experienced clinic such as Progressive Dentistry to ensure success. As an adult, you might prefer the lingual braces for the anonymity they provide, but that’s mostly a decision based on social and personal perception than any medical advantage.