When it comes to straightening teeth discreetly, lingual braces are – in our opinion – the ultimate orthodontic solution. They’re similar to traditional fixed braces, but with one important difference: they are fitted behind the teeth, making them virtually undetectable.
Hidden behind your teeth, lingual braces are the definitive answer to ‘invisible orthodontics’.
It was in the 1970s that an American orthodontist and a Japanese orthodontist simultaneously started fitting braces behind their patients’ teeth. However early lingual braces, although discreet, were not especially comfortable, or as effective as traditional braces. Thankfully lingual orthodontics has come a long way in the last 40 years.
Increased demand for so-called invisible braces has been the driving force behind new innovations, leading to custom-made braces, which now provide the same control as traditional fixed braces. This means that everyone can benefit from the discreetness of lingual braces, and they can be used to treat even the most complex cases.
Lingual braces are undoubtedly discreet, but their benefits don’t stop there. Here are just some of the advantages of straightening your smile with lingual braces:
That’s right, lingual braces can be used to straighten mild crowding as well as more complex orthodontic complaints such as impacted teeth, underbites and spacing. They’re also suitable for all ages.
The latest lingual braces are now custom-made to fit your teeth. This gives your orthodontist maximum control over the movement of your teeth, ensuring they’re perfectly positioned and you don’t compromise a fantastic end result for the sake of an inconspicuous brace.
While orthodontic treatment will never be considered a ‘quick fix’, the beauty of lingual braces is that you’ll see your teeth start to move within just a few months. So you can start showing off your ever-improving smile long before your braces come off.
When braces are fitted behind the teeth, the damage that can occur as a result of poor brushing or eating the wrong foods, is likely to be less severe and less visible.
Lingual braces may be the most discreet ‘invisible’ brace but they’re not necessarily the most widely known. Thanks to extensive marketing and celebrity patients, Invisalign – which uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move teeth – has become a household name. It’s undoubtedly a popular choice among patients, but unfortunately it’s not suitable for everyone, and it doesn’t provide your orthodontist with the same level of control as a fixed brace.
Another alternative to lingual braces are clear fixed braces. Clear braces work in the same way as traditional fixed braces, but they feature clear or ceramic brackets, which are designed to blend in with your teeth. Clear braces can achieve precise results and they’re usually more affordable than lingual braces or clear aligners. Their main disadvantage is that although they’re discreet they’re by no means ‘invisible’. The brackets can also become slightly stained over time if you eat the wrong foods.
Most lingual orthodontists will also offer alternative treatments, including Invisalign and clear braces. This means they will be able to go through your options in detail and advise you on the brace that’s best for you during an initial consultation.