Some people rather like the look of traditional braces. However, maybe you're not so enchanted with the way that traditional braces look, so you were rather happy when your orthodontist told you that lingual braces were your best bet. Lingual braces work in much the same way as traditional (or buccal) braces. However, they're attached to the rear of your dental arch, making them difficult to spot. You get the advantages of braces without anyone knowing about it. That said, a common disadvantage of lingual braces is how this type of orthodontic treatment might affect your tongue. If you have this kind, here's what you should know.
The Physical Presence of Lingual Braces
It's not as though lingual braces will damage your tongue, but their physical presence can be disruptive to the natural movement of your tongue. The brackets and wire of your lingual braces will create a new surface in your mouth, and given the number of times each day your tongue makes physical contact with your teeth, your new lingual braces may feel a little unsettling at first.
Making Contact With Your Teeth
You won't need to retrain your tongue to avoid contact with your teeth. Some adjustments to the motion of your tongue may occur, but these will be largely unconscious. It's generally a case of getting used to the physical feeling of your lingual braces as they brush against your tongue. As such, if your new braces should cause any tongue discomfort, don't be concerned—you will quickly become used to the feeling, and your discomfort will quickly fade.
While You're Getting Used to Your Braces
While you're waiting to get used to your new lingual braces, there are a few things you can do if your tongue is feeling a bit uncomfortable. Try a saltwater rinse, which can soothe the irritated surface of your tongue. You may want to avoid commercial mouthwash, as the alcohol component can cause further irritation. The same goes for certain types of food and drink (especially anything overly acidic or spicy), which can cause minor irritation to a sensitive tongue.
If any tongue irritation doesn't quickly go away, or even worsens, then you should certainly consult your orthodontist. They may need to inspect the placement of your lingual braces. This is unlikely to happen, so don't be concerned about any minor tongue irritation once you've received lingual braces, because it's not going to persist. To learn more about braces, contact a clinic like Poulson Orthodontics.