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10 Pros and Cons of Lingual Braces

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Medically reviewed by: Dr Anthony Lam BDS (Hons), MSc (Lond), MOrth RCS (Edin) Specialist Orthodontist and Clinical Lecturer at Guy's Hospital, London.

17th March 2021
Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are traditional fixed braces that are fitted and hidden behind your teeth. Since their invention in the 70s Lingual braces were considered bulky and initially not even that great at straightening teeth! But over the years the technology has developed dramatically and now they’re not only the most discreet, beating Invisalign with ease  –  they provide excellent results too.

 

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Advantages of lingual braces

  • They are almost invisible! Because they’re attached to the back of your teeth. No metal wires or brackets on view – and some of our patients go through their entire treatment without friends and colleagues even knowing they have brace.
  • They are always straightening you teeth! Because lingual braces are fixed to your teeth, they remain in place throughout your treatment. This means they’re always working, and you don’t need to worry about wearing them for so many hours each day. It also makes them impossible to lose. When some patients are truly honest with themselves – taking aligners in and out to eat really isn’t for them.
  • The latest innovations, like Incognito and In-Ovation L feature custom-made brackets or wires that perfectly fit your teeth. This provides excellent control and allows us to achieve precise, tailored movements.
  • They can treat mild to complex orthodontic complaints! Lingual braces are perfect for severely crowded teeth, spacing and teeth that don’t bite together properly. And, for simpler problems and more mild complaints too. We even offer a shorter course of lingual braces that are specially designed to straighten just the front teeth!

Disadvantages of lingual braces

  • The cost! Lingual braces are the most expensive brace we offer because the cost of the brace itself is higher, particularly if the brackets are custom-made, or gold, as is the case with Incognito braces. Lingual orthodontics also requires clinicians to undergo dedicated training to learn the technique and as they aren’t quite as accessible as traditional braces, adjustment appointments require more time.
  • You need to adapt your eating habits! With a lingual brace you need to make a few adjustments to the way you eat and to avoid anything hard, chewy, crusty – essentially anything that could dislodge one of your brackets. If a bracket does come off, and it’s been custom-made, we’ll need to organise a replacement, which could extend the length of your treatment.
  • You need to pay extra attention to your brushing and cleaning regime, to save yourself wrestling lodged bits of food out of your brace with your tongue.
  • They can take a little getting used to! The inside of your mouth isn’t the most spacious of places so with the addition of braces on the backs of your teeth, you might find that for the first week you experience some initial soreness and parts of your brace may irritate your tongue. It should get better every day, and we can also give you some special wax, which you can pop over any parts of your brace that are rubbing.
  • You may develop a lisp after the brace is fitted. Again, this shouldn’t last longer than a few days and we can give you some tips to help you adjust. The more you talk, the quicker the problem should resolve itself. If you have a job that requires you to talk a lot – we normally advise having your braces fitted on a day that you can follow with a few days off (like a weekend or annual leave) to give yourself some time to get used to speaking.
  • Occasionally, patients who aren’t 100% diligent with their oral hygiene, that eat and drink lots of high acid & sugary food – can be left with permanent white or brown spots or squares where the brackets were protecting the teeth. But, if either was to happen while wearing lingual braces, any stains would be conveniently hidden behind your teeth!

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