Lingual Braces in-Depth – Pros and Cons for Teeth Alignment

There are many people who are not happy about the appearances of their teeth and would like to have them straightened. However, the mere thought of having to wear train track braces can be a put-off. Therefore, if you are one of those who have been considering a more discreet method of orthodontic treatment, the Lingual braces might be just the right choice for your teeth.

Lingual braces are relatively unheard of as compared to other forms of orthodontic treatment. So keep reading if you want to know more about one of the many types of braces, which are gaining in popularity lately.

With 4.5 million people in the USA alone who pursuit in dental alignment, this can be a valuable option for those who are concerned with aesthetics appearances. Therefore, this article will discuss these braces in detail.

What are Lingual Braces?

Lingual braces are also known as the inside braces. It is a treatment for teeth alignment used more commonly by the adult who would rather prefer to have their braces invisible, while maintaining a professional look, or by teen that concerns about bullying during orthodontic treatment.

These braces are almost similar to the common traditional metal braces, except for the fact that they are attached to the inside of the teeth. This keeps them well concealed even as you talk, laugh and smile openly.

Furthermore, they are custom made for the teeth with a high amount of precision. The doctors treating your condition conduct a scan and take the accurate impression of your teeth.

the hidden braces

The Hidden (Lingual) Braces


These scans are then used for creating customized brackets and wires that offer a very snug fit to your teeth, helping them move into their desired position in a slow and gradual manner.

Lingual braces can be a perfect fit to treat a wide range of malocclusion and misalignment problems.

You may also have heard of “Incognito braces”, which commonly refer to as another name for lingual braces.

Actually, Incognito is the name of a brand, but many people already refer to it as synonymous with lingual braces the same way as Invisalign is synonymous with invisible braces.

Types of Lingual Braces

Just like any other type of braces, lingual braces also take place in terms of brand and style, their selection depends on the advice of your orthodontist, your preferences and your budget of course.

The oral appliance works all the similar way, including the lingual braces, regardless of who the developers are. The difference slightly lies in the design and how they are secured and attached to the back of the teeth from the patients. Some popular brands including;

  • Incognito by 3M
  • They develop lingual braces with the help of advanced computer design technology, which is 100% customized as no two people alike.

    This incognito takes the shape as flatly as possible and is molded base on a specific tooth, thereby reducing the possibility of inflammation in the mouth and slightly disrupting with the speech.

    For the most part, Incognito braces are made of gold alloys that reduce the likelihood of oral allergic reaction.

    Another brand name that orthodontists may offer is iBraces™, a new generation of lingual braces for adults and teens that are also 100% customized, thus there will be no two sets of iBraces are identical.

  • Self-Ligating Lingual Brackets
  • Self-ligating braces are another option when it comes to lingual systems. This technology allows the patients to get a comfortable experience rather than traditional lingual braces, as it reduces visit time for archwire tightening.

    Some popular brand names such as STb Light Lingual System, made by Ormco (the company that also produces Damon braces) and In-Ovation-L (requires minimal realignment) are two self-ligation options which available today.

  • Non-Customized Systems
  • For patients with mild severity of crooked teeth, yet still want the benefits of the hidden braces, there is a choice of less expensive braces like “Forestadent”, claimed to be as the flattest lingual bracket in the world.

    This is a non-custom system, made in Germany, using standard dental care without expensive laboratory customization. However, for complex orthodontic jobs, the choice of custom-made brand will be more effective.

Do Lingual Braces Affect the Lifestyle?

Although these braces are well concealed inside your mouth, they still pose some restriction mainly in the process of eating and maintaining regular oral hygiene. The braces are made of metal wire.

Therefore, the person wearing them should be careful at all times, lest the wires get broken or bent, especially while chewing something hard.

Care should also be taken while brushing the teeth and it is advisable to be as gentle as possible. It is best to brush twice a day and floss daily to prevent plaque buildup.

Sometimes, they are used together with rubber bands that assist in the process of moving the teeth into their ideal position.

Usually, the orthodontists demonstrate the proper way to get these rubber bands applied together with the braces. However, one should always be careful while it by oneself.

Furthermore, they should be removed each time during eating and brushing in order to keep them from snapping inside the mouth.

The Lingual Braces Cost

Lingual braces are much more expensive as compared to the traditional braces. This is mainly because they are made in dental laboratories in a completely customized manner so as to offer a perfect fit for the wearer.

Furthermore, people opting for these braces are required to make frequent appointments with the doctor who keeps track of the progress. With costs of $5,000 or more, this type of braces is surely worth the investment; however, you may also need to figure out which type of lingual braces would work for your teeth.

Usually, the treatment procedure using lingual braces lasts for a much longer period as compared to the traditional braces, which further goes on to add to the total cost. The treatments usually last for a period of 18 to 36 months.

In order to understand whether you can go for lingual braces, an orthodontist should be consulted who will make a close study of your case, assess the severity of the condition and determine if the treatment method is applicable to you.

Pros and Cons of this Type of Braces

Lingual braces may be a good option and offer a great cosmetic alternative for those who do not want to go around wearing the easily visible metal braces.

However, it should be noted that because these braces are entirely hidden behind the teeth, they may pose some restriction to the tongue movement, thereby leading to some difficulty with speech.

Although the patients may get gradually used to wearing these braces, they may turn out to be very challenging, especially during the initial stages.

Furthermore, the treatment will not be so discreet if you are also using the rubber bands to help with the teeth alignment. If the patients do not stick to the proper method of wearing the braces, the entire treatment may be rendered ineffective.

Lingual braces vs. Invisalign

In terms of acquiring braces that are not immediately visible, many thoughts crossed to see the hidden braces and invisible braces like Invisalign as two main options for straightening the crooked teeth.

The invisible braces work without the use of wires and brackets as the traditional metal braces, instead, they use clear plastic aligners (transparent BPA free plastic) to move the teeth in correct position.

The hidden braces, such as lingual braces, are basically designed to be tied to the back of the teeth and of course completely hidden from any view, unless you deliberately want to show this braces by wide opening of your mouth.

On the other hand, invisible braces use removable aligners which are much easier to clean than traditional lingual braces, but in general, the invisible braces are perfectly fit to solve only mild to moderate dental problems.

Final words:

Is there any alternative to these braces? Ceramic braces and Invisalign are a common alternative to these braces, owing to their invisible or tooth-colored brackets.

They also work in the same way like the lingual braces. However, in cases where extensive treatment is needed, traditional metal braces are recommended.

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