Lingual braces are a popular option for people who want the strength of traditional braces without the metallic front show. Lingual braces are intricate corrective devices that a skilled orthodontist places on the back of the teeth instead of the front. That process creates a high level of discretion. Because of the discretion, lingual braces can be a godsend for teens and people who have customer-facing job positions.
The downside is that there may be some difficulty in speech for a few days after the patient has lingual braces placed. Here’s some additional information on the challenges that may occur with lingual braces and how you and your orthodontist can overcome the challenges when you choose a completely invisible solution in orthodontics.
All Lisps and Whistles
The lisp and the whistle are the two most common problems that people mention when they first start trying to adapt to their linguals. The oral cavity is a complex area, and everything needs space to operate properly. The tongue, for example, needs to move to the back of two of the upper teeth when it comes time to form certain sounds such as the “S” sound. Your braces will suddenly be in the spot that your tongue has become accustomed to using to produce this sound that you need when you’re speaking. Until it realizes that it has to find a new location, your tongue will continue to hit the same contact spot, and sounds like “S” will come out as “TH” and so forth. After the first few days, this subsides as your tongue readjusts to the lingual braces.
Another problem that can occur with braces behind your teeth is a whistling sound. Whistling is a common problem in many people who have had cosmetic dental work, appliances installed and other things. It usually occurs when the person tries to stay something that has an “S” in it. The issue occurs in most cases because the two front teeth have been altered in some way. With lingual braces, the two front from teeth may have been pulled slightly, and a whistle only needs a slight variation to occur.
The Mouth Size
Speaking issues vary from person to person. They have a lot to do with the size of the patient’s mouth, the products and more. Most patients do experience some sort of oddity at first. They may not have a lisp, but they may experience a general sense of challenge. Many problems tend to disappear within the first month of getting lingual braces installed. You should expect a little irregularity but a return to normality within a few short weeks.
Other Possible Issues With Linguals
All appliances have a unique set of issues that may or may not occur. With lingual braces, the biggest problems are the speech challenges. Some of the other things that you may experience for a limited time are issues such as a sore tongue, difficulty eating and problems cleaning the teeth, which are all issues you may also experience with traditional braces on the outside of your teeth.
The sore tongue comes from curiosity and territorial intrusion. First, a person usually can’t help playing with something that’s inside of his or her mouth. If braces are on the inside of your teeth, you’re likely to touch them with your tongue. Lingual braces are metal, and the metal may irritate the tongue after a while. Pain in the tongue can usually be resolved with solutions such as salt water rinses and numbing agents like Orajel. Your ELOS orthodontist will also provide you will dental wax or gooshy goo and clear instructions to help while your tongue adjusts to the braces behind your teeth.
You may also have a difficult time with certain foods getting stuck inside your lingual braces. Proper dental hygiene and teeth cleaning are key to keeping your smile healthy while in treatment. The orthodontist can recommend some tools that will help you to conduct the cleaning process a whole lot better. It may take a few more minutes in the morning & before bed to brush and floss but this is the case with any type of braces you have.
Why Lingual Braces Still Rock
The benefits of lingual may still be higher for you than those of other options. The truth is that you won’t be able to escape all the challenges that come along with wearing a dental appliance with whatever option you may choose. All types from traditional metal to clear trays to lingual all have adjustment periods. If the invisibility is the most important aspect of wearing braces, then lingual braces are your best choice. Lingual braces are the only options that offer the same level of sturdiness and reliability as traditional braces without being cosmetically intrusive. They are a great option if your job requires you to maintain a certain image, or if you don’t feel comfortable wearing visual braces in college or high school.
Tips for Working on Speech Problems
Practice is the best solution for some of the speech problems that may arise in a person who wears linguals. You have to train your tongue to seek a different area in your mouth to make contact for certain sounds. For example, you could try some challenges that provide you with a targeted list of words to try to pronounce. A very common tool that people try is “The Rainbow Passage.” It’s a small piece of text that starts with “When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air…” It may be challenging at first, but it’s designed for those who choose lingual OR Invisalign to adjust their speech with their new appliance.
Exercising the tongue can help your cause, as well. There is a myriad of exercises that you can do to strengthen your tongue and whip it into shape so that it can defeat any challenges that you braces behind your teeth may present.
Scheduling a Consultation
Today could be the first day of the rest of your life as a person who is in route to a perfect smile. You can schedule an appointment with an ELOS member orthodontist near you to talk about linguals and gather some additional information. The specialist can comfort you if you’re experiencing confusion or worries about the whole process. A full consultation may include X-rays, cleaning and the workings of a planned development to get your smile in the very best shape possible. You have nothing to lose, but you do have a gorgeous smile to gain.
Do Lingual Braces Cause Difficulty in [Speech]?