FAQs for Braces (for FAQs about Lingual Braces, see below)

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The Canadian and American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven. However, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

• ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
• Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
• If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
• Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
• During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities).
• Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
• Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

Your orthodontist uses braces to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces from which to choose, including:
• Clear braces
• Ceramic braces
• Gold braces
• Lingual braces
• Self-ligating braces
• Invisible braces
• Traditional metal braces

The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.

Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your braces or appliance.


FAQs for Lingual Braces

The entire process takes roughly 45 minutes. The installation takes about 30 minutes and then another 15 minutes to talk about wear and care.

The treatment time is the same as with any other type of braces. Typically, it ranges anywhere from six to 24 months depending on each case.

This is where regular braces and lingual braces are similar! You can expect to have tender teeth for a few days (usually a seven to 10 day period) after the lingual braces are initially installed. This is a normal symptom while your teeth adjust to the new pressure, no matter how light the pressure is.
Teeth respond to the pressure-tension by getting tender if you squeeze the teeth together when biting. It’s similar to when you work out for the first time (after a long break) and wake up the next day feeling stiff. You know you don’t need aspirin, but you’re aware of the discomfort as it diminishes and passes after a few days. The same applies to lingual braces.

You will need to visit Dr. Strelzow every four to eight weeks.

While it’s very rare, occasionally teeth that are too small are not a candidate for lingual braces. Generally speaking, however, most cases are treatable with lingual braces.

Lingual braces are comparable, although more expensive, than conventional outside braces. The customization and extended laboratory construction create a price premium. This can vary from five percent to a 30 percent premium depending on the case. Payments are structured to spread the cost out through treatment time or longer if this is easier financially for the patient (typically 18 to 30 months). A portion of the total cost is paid up front to cover the cost of the diagnostic records, laboratory costs, and setup. The balance is then broken into monthly payment and spread out over the treatment time.

Yes and no. The inside of the mouth is a naturally cleaner area due to the natural scrubbing action of the tongue and increased saliva flow on the inner surface of the teeth. However, because lingual braces are “invisible”, people often ignore or skip brushing because they can’t see anything on their teeth. In other respects lingual braces are as much a food trap as an outside brace and deserve the same kind of cleaning care and attention as a traditional brace. Electric toothbrushes and water picks are the weapons of choice.

Yes, we get the same outcomes between the two treatments. Lingual braces are more effective for some cases and less than others.. Both treatments are essentially doing the same thing: moving your teeth. The teeth don’t care whether you put the ‘luggage’ handle on the outside or the inside. As long as you can get a firm grip of the tooth, it will behave and move where placed.

Yes! Lingual braces are the ideal choice for people who play contact sports (karate, rugby etc.) or for musicians (small reed or brass instrument mouth pieces are a challenge when pressed against traditional outside braces). Mouth guards are still required but laceration to the lips and cheeks are rare with lingual braces and sports.

Many patients will initially experience some awkwardness with speech. During the first few days, patients find themselves having to be more deliberate with their speech and even tripping over words later in the day, as their mouths become dry and tired. This usually lasts for one to two weeks for the patients to get used to speaking. This accommodation is much easier for younger patients. I have not had anyone ask to have their braces changed because of speech.
Since we want the lingual experience to be positive from the start, we generally add only one set of lingual braces when we commence treatment. This allows the patients to ease into their appliances and improves comfort and accommodation.

Generally not. Most people do not display their lingual braces when eating or talking. If you want to show off your new lingual braces you will have to bring a dental mirror to the next cocktail party!