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The standard braces everyone is used to seeing are metallic. They also run through the front of the teeth. Persons who wear these braces are, at times, self-conscious and might be seen covering their mouths with hands when smiling or laughing.
Lingual braces give a discreet alternative by ensuring that the user is not self-conscious about the aesthetic appearance when wearing them. However, the main disadvantage of braces is the discomfort to the patient, as is typical for traditional braces as well. This text will discuss their advantages, uses, and disadvantages. Finally, it will explain ways in which you can alleviate the discomfort experienced by the braces.
What are Lingual Braces?
These braces are fixed to the back of the teeth, therefore, completely hiding them from view. They are comprised of metal brackets and archwires, just like the traditional braces. Whatever your concern is lingual braces can fix it! From crowding to overbite & spacing to underbite, all malocclusion can be fixed using braces behind your teeth.
There are different brands of these discreet braces, the choice of which depends on the ELOS expert. Some of the braces are made using gold and transparent rings that are elastic, which are used when attaching the wires. However, others have been designed to be self-litigating, hence no elastic material is used to hold the wires in place. These braces are customized to the exact needs of the patient.
Invisalign is another discreet alternative and in most cases, is seen as a competitor of braces. However, the weakness of Invisalign is that it cannot be used to correct orthodontic processes such as crossbites and the tipping of the teeth.
You Might Be Wondering
a) The main advantage of braces is their invisibility. Unless you mention that you have braces, it is highly unlikely that anyone would know about the fact that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
b) Unlike other discreet options like Invisalign, these braces are used to treat all manner of orthodontic problems. They are used by persons who suffer from crossbite, overbite, underbite. And crowding, among other problems.
c) Previously, there were some concerns about the quality of results expected from braces. Some people felt that they might not be as effective as their traditional alternatives. However, time has shown that the quality of results of braces is similar to that of the traditional ones, in addition to the fact that they come with the added advantage of being discrete.
a) Expect some difficulty when speaking if you have braces. This is because your tongue may be unable to make contact with the backside of your upper teeth, making it difficult for you to make some sounds. You might, therefore, develop a lisp or make whistling sounds when you speak.
b) Your tongue may also get sore in the first few weeks of using them. This is because the braces will be a curiosity for your tongue, leading to their exploration, hence causing soreness or redness on it. The remedies for this soreness include using salt water rinses, over the counter anesthetics, or using silicone pads over the braces to protect your tongue.
c) Eating will also be difficult with braces. Therefore, avoid crunchy or chewy foods or cut them into smaller pieces to make chewing easier.
d) Brushing and flossing your teeth will be made much more difficult as food particles will get trapped in the metal brackets. Either way, ensure that you clean the braces every day, preferably after every meal.
e) The appointment periods in your orthodontist’s office may take longer than they would when dealing with traditional braces. Moreover, they are more costly than conventional ones.
What to do to Alleviate the Discomfort
a) Use Painkillers
The first week or two when wearing braces will consist largely of pain to your tongue and gums. Have your dentist prescribe painkillers for you to use when the pain is in extreme. However, ensure that you don’t abuse them, use them only as per the dosage.
b) Take Cold Foods
In the first few days after getting the braces, you are advised to take cold foods as they will help alleviate the pain. Examples are ice cream and cubes. However, ensure that your teeth are not sensitive to cold temperatures in the first place.
c) Take Soft Foods
Chewing might be difficult after getting the braces and your diet should, therefore, consist of mostly soft foods. Soups, porridge, and pasta are just a few of the foods that are easy to chew on, hence ideal for you.
d) Use Salt Water
Put a half a tablespoon of salt in a glass of warm water then stir until it dissolves. Gargle this water until the pain subsides.
It Gets Better
e) Use Warm Milk and Soup
Their advantage is that they are soft foods that will provide you with the necessary nutritional requirements without increasing your pain. Secondly, they will increase the blood circulation around the gums and tongue, hence reducing the pain.
f) Avoid the Sores
Most times, it is like the tongue has a mind of its own. Therefore, it might find its way to the sores that have developed on the gums. As difficult as it might be, it is important to avoid these sores and let them heal on their own. You should also not touch them with your fingers.
g) Distract Yourself
Do something different to completely take your mind off the fact that you just got braces. Go to a gym, visit a friend, see a movie, or even ride a bicycle. The distraction will take your mind off the pain.
Here’s the Kicker
When getting braces from an ELOS expert, most people just consider the advantages that come with it. The impressive quality of results, their indiscernible design, and their ability to treat most of the orthodontic problems are a few of the plus points. However, the pain and discomfort are real effects of braces, but you can deal with them using the methods mentioned above.
Before using the highlighted techniques, it is important to ensure that you will not react negatively to any of them. Also, any medicine you use should be prescribed by your orthodontist. Contact ELOS for a full expert lowdown and lingual treatment.
How to Alleviate Discomfort [with Lingual Braces]