Lingual Arch

The lingual arch is a fixed appliance that is banded around the molars. It is used to hold space for developing permanent teeth when baby teeth are lost or extracted prematurely. It also prevents the molars from moving forward, which could cause crowding.

Please try to leave the wire alone as much as you can. After you have it for a while, you will likely forget that it is even there. At first, you may find the bands or the wire somewhat irritating to your tongue. It should not feel sharp, and you should not develop any sores on your tongue or gums. If you do, let us know right away so we can adjust your appliance.

The front teeth and sometimes the teeth with the bands around them may get sore and tender the day after we insert the wire for the first time. If this happens, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol or Motrin) as directed. The soreness will disappear within a few days. With this appliance in your mouth, you will be restricted from eating certain foods. Do not eat anything sticky, chewy, very hard or crunchy, like gum, caramels, taffy, Gummy Bears, beef jerky, ice, nuts, hard candies, popcorn, etc. These foods can loosen the bands from your teeth or bend the wire.

Do not pull up on the front of the wire with your fingers or tongue. If you do, the wire could bend out of shape and may not work properly. If food gets down between the wire and your teeth and you are having trouble getting it out, don't pull the wire away from your teeth. Use your toothbrush to clean between the wire and teeth.

Call our office if:

  • A band has come loose from your tooth.
  • The lingual arch wire has come out of the attachment on the band on one or both sides.
  • The wire is bent up and away from your teeth.
  • Your teeth suddenly start hurting, even though the wire has not been adjusted recently.
  • The wire is broken.
  • The wire seems to be wiggling around a lot, even if you don't think it is broken or has come out.
  • You develop a sore on your tongue or gums that is being irritated by the appliance.