It’s estimated that nine out of ten people have crooked teeth. If you’ve decided you’d like to straighten your teeth, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to treatments on offer. 

One of the options on offer at London Smile Clinic isn’t something you’ll have seen on other people. But that’s not because nobody ever has this treatment. On the contrary, plenty do! —It’s actually because it’s so discreet. In fact, it’s never on show. 

Lingual braces may be the best-kept secret in the teeth straightening industry. They bring the versatility and effectiveness of fixed braces without their visibility. How? By hiding the braces behind your smile. 

So, are lingual braces right for you? Before making a decision, here’s everything you need to know about this treatment. 

How Do Lingual Braces Work?

Like other braces, lingual braces use gentle, constant forces to gradually move teeth. Lingual braces use a similar combination of brackets and wires as traditional fixed appliances. However, these are attached to the backs of your teeth instead of the fronts.

The word “lingual” means “close to the tongue” —instead of facing out toward your lips, lingual braces face your tongue. 

As with all fixed braces, lingual braces must be adjusted regularly throughout the treatment. By increasing the tension along the wire, we can help your teeth move closer toward their perfect positions. 

What Can Lingual Braces Treat?

Much like other fixed braces, lingual braces are useful for treating various orthodontic problems and a range of severities. We can use lingual braces to address the following: 

  • Crowding
  • Gaps between your teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Protruding teeth

Lingual braces can also be used to treat bite alignment problems, such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite. While certain orthodontic issues affect the aesthetics of your smile when your bite doesn’t align correctly, it can cause pain in your jaw, face, neck, head, and shoulders and lead to uneven tooth wear. 

What Are the Benefits of Lingual Braces?

Addressing any orthodontic problems will improve the appearance of your smile, give you a confidence boost, and reduce the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, infection, uneven wear, jaw problems like temporomandibular disorders, and more. 

The benefit of choosing lingual braces over other alternative appliances is the complete discretion they offer. While many braces and aligners are made from clear materials, they are not hidden from view. Lingual braces are fixed to the backs of your teeth where nobody can see them.

Lingual braces are useful in treating a wide range of cases, including those of greater severity. This makes the treatment perfect for addressing problems that clear aligners cannot. 

Unlike aligners, lingual braces are fixed to your teeth. This means that you don’t have to worry about remembering to put them back in.

Incognito lingual braces are also very precise. Because we make adjustments to your braces throughout the teeth straightening process, we have full control over each movement. 

How Long Does Treatment With Lingual Braces Take?

Every smile is unique, so lingual brace treatments can take six months to two years. 

Your treatment length will vary depending on various factors, including the severity of the issues we’re addressing, your age, and your general health. 

Following your initial assessment, we can give you an idea of how long treatment should take in your case. 

Do Lingual Braces Hurt?

As you’ll wear your braces for up to two years, comfort is an important consideration. Whether you choose braces or aligners, you will always feel a slight pressure on your teeth. This is particularly true when you first get braces or after you’ve adjusted them.

The good news is that this mild discomfort can be managed using paracetamol and usually only ever lasts for a few days. 

With fixed braces, you may also experience slight discomfort if the brackets rub against your mouth. In contrast, lingual braces can only come into contact with your tongue. 

Your tongue will quickly get used to your braces being there, and it will barely come into contact with them after a while. In the meantime, you could use orthodontic wax to soften the edges of your brace and reduce discomfort. 

Will Lingual Braces Cause Speech Difficulties?

Because your tongue can come into contact with your lingual braces, it can cause short-term speech problems. You may find that you are subconsciously holding your tongue back while speaking, causing a lisp. 

Developing a lisp can make you self-conscious when speaking, and you may feel inclined to talk less. It’s important to continue speaking as normal, as your tongue needs to adapt to the presence of your new braces. 

Most people find that any speech difficulties pass on their own quickly.

How Easy Is It To Keep Lingual Braces Clean?

When you wear braces, dental hygiene becomes more important than ever. Food and bacteria can build up around the brace, and due to the configuration of brackets and wire, it’s not always easy to keep your teeth as clean as you should. 

This is true for all fixed braces; however, because lingual braces are fixed to the backs of your teeth, you need to pay more attention when brushing. 

When we fit your braces, we’ll give you advice on how to keep them and your teeth clean. Although you may face challenges adapting to cleaning your braces, it’s more than possible to maintain high standards of cleanliness, and it will get easier with practice. 

How Are Lingual Braces Adjusted?

You’ll need to visit the clinic for an appointment at various stages throughout your treatment, usually every six to eight weeks. This appointment gives us the opportunity to check on your progress and adjust your brace. 

We’ll unclip your brace’s archwire during this appointment and tighten or replace it. Once completed, we’ll fix the wire in place. 

Any soreness or sensitivity following your adjustment will pass after a few days, but you can manage your symptoms with paracetamol in the meantime. 

How Do I Know If Lingual Braces Are Right for Me?

Deciding on the right teeth straightening treatment is very important. You should consider the benefits, like the fact that lingual braces are very discreet and effective in the majority of cases, but also take into consideration the short-term challenges you may face while getting used to wearing them. 

You should also make this decision with our support. A full assessment will determine whether this is the best option for you, and our team can discuss the process in more depth before creating a custom treatment plan. 

Incognito Lingual Braces In London

Lingual braces are the most subtle fixed brace treatment available, giving you a perfect new smile without any visible appliances. 

Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.