How Do Lingual Braces Work?

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Studies suggest that your smile is often the first feature noticed by others, however many people may feel that they are unable to smile comfortably and confidently whilst wearing traditional metal braces. Due to modern technologies, traditional braces are now smaller and provide faster treatment than previously. There are also alternative, virtually invisible orthodontic solutions which can give patients confidence and a better experience during treatment, whilst still delivering the desired results. Lingual braces are a highly discreet option to treating a variety of orthodontic problems, helping to achieve straighter teeth and get you noticed with your perfect smile. Here we will discuss in detail the lingual brace treatment and how it can benefit those looking for orthodontic care which has less impact on their appearance during treatment.

What Are Lingual Braces?

Comprised of small metal brackets and arch wires, lingual braces work in the same way as traditional braces. They apply a continuous pressure that gently and gradually straightens teeth, helping to fix gaps, overcrowding, rotated teeth or problems with bite. After treatment teeth will look properly set and aligned, and will continue to grow more naturally. Unlike traditional brace treatment however, lingual braces are bonded to the back of the teeth. The brackets are custom-made to fit the individual shape of the problem teeth. This makes lingual braces virtually invisible to others, and at the same time they work just as effectively as traditional braces to straighten teeth and create a healthy smile.

Lingual braces are a perfect alternative for those patients that are not suitable for clear aligners, as another subtler method of treatment. Furthermore they are far more effective than aligners for complex movements like correcting rotations, changing the heights of teeth and closing spaces.

In terms of cost, getting lingual braces is a more expensive option than wearing traditional braces. This is because the procedure requires more specialised training to affix the customised brackets, which use the latest CAD/CAM technology. Yet the hidden braces can provide fast results and are also less likely to lead to problems such as decay and decalcification than with traditional braces. Any discoloration that occurs will be at the back of the teeth where it will not be visible.

What to Expect When Wearing Lingual Braces

Patients may experience a little discomfort for a longer time than using other treatment options because the braces are attached to the back of the teeth, but after this initial period they are very easy to live with.

Good oral hygiene when wearing lingual braces, as with any other treatment, is essential to keep teeth healthy and make the most care provided. Food can more easily become trapped at the back of the teeth, so it is highly recommended that you take care to brush your teeth after every meal. You should be able to eat normally, though sticky, hard or sugary foods should be avoided. Going for regular check-ups with your dentist will also ensure your teeth are well looked after during treatment, and you’ll get the best results on completion.

Patients participating in contact sports are advised to wear a mouth guard for protection. Other activities, such as cycling, roller-skating, or skateboarding, could also benefit from use of a mouth guard. It also may be difficult to play an instrument initially during lingual treatment, although this will become easier as your mouth becomes accustomed to the brace.

Types of Lingual Braces

There are a number of different types of lingual aligners which can be recommended by your orthodontist to suit your specific requirements. We recommend the following lingual treatments: 

  • Incognito™ lingual braces are custom-made from gold. They are created using state of the art technology to ensure they are an exact fit for your teeth.
  • The STb™ Light Lingual System is a more cost effective alternative to Incognito™, but still delivers a great level of comfort with an efficient treatment.
  • Forestadent® 2D Lingual Brackets are extremely flat, with a thickness of just 1.3 to 1.65mm. The brackets flatness in combination with its round edges and smooth surfaces make it the number one lingual bracket for patient comfort.

If you’re considering getting lingual braces as a more discreet way to achieve your perfect smile, or would like to find out more about the options for treatment, please contact our Manchester clinic on 0161 998 2622.

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