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What Are Lingual Braces? 2021 Guide to Incognito Braces

What Are Lingual Braces? 2021 Guide to Incognito Braces

Lingual, or incognito, braces are gaining popularity among adults with crooked teeth who do not want to be reminded of their teenage train tracks! They are fitted on the back of the teeth making them virtually invisible, advantageous to those with visible lifestyles. 

Here we bring you useful information and a pros and cons list of the custom-made braces for those considering lingual braces.

Key Takeaways: Behind the Teeth Braces

What Are Lingual Braces?

Lingual braces differ from other metal braces as they are fitted behind the teeth next to the tongue, making them virtually invisible. They are an FDA-approved orthodontic treatment for those looking to straighten their smile. 

Lingual braces are made of basically the same parts as traditional metal braces, but braces behind the teeth are a slightly different experience to standard braces.

Are Lingual Braces Painful?

Lingual braces should not be more painful than any other orthodontic treatment. In fact, some wearers say that traditional metal braces are sharper and have a worse effect on soft tissues inside the mouth.

When you have any brace fitted, metal or otherwise, there is likely to be some aching and discomfort in the beginning as your teeth start to move. This is expected to last a few days before fading, then intensify again when the wires are re-tightened.

With lingual braces, it takes time for you to adapt your speech since your tongue must be repositioned to compensate for the metal parts. This is usually felt as strange rather than painful but can last up to a few weeks.

There are reports of lingual brace wearers getting hurt during treatment due to brackets popping off in the mouth. Compared to other types of braces, the wire is tightened at a more acute angle behind teeth, which could be responsible for this.

If you are keeping your options open, there are other less visible types of braces that fit to the front of the teeth.

Do Lingual Braces Take Longer Than Traditional Braces?

No, not always. Treatment time for complex cases may take up to 2 years, although the same thing would apply with regular types of braces. More straightforward orthodontic interventions would usually take around 1 year. 

The process of fitting lingual braces can take several months since the top and bottom brace are not fitted at the same time. In the first stage, the top brace is fitted and a few months later the bottom brackets and wire are added. The stages allow you time to adapt to the metal touching your tongue. It’s also better to adjust your speech, one brace at a time.

Brace On Back of Teeth Photo

lingual braces

How Much Do Lingual Braces Cost?

Lingual braces typically cost between $10,000 to $13,000

Do Lingual Braces Cost More Than Traditional Braces?

Yes, lingual orthodontic appliances generally cost more than other types of braces including traditional metal braces. Lingual orthodontics require expensive materials—usually high carat gold, because it is the only metal that will not react and irritate your tongue.

It is also an expensive process to create the hidden braces; to mold the customized brackets to the right shape for your mouth at a dental laboratory, for example. Follow-up appointments are regular and therefore ongoing treatment is pricey too.

If you want invisible braces and cannot justify the high price of linguals, it would be worth looking into alignment braces, such as Byte Aligners. Byte Aligners (and others like Invisalign) make plastic retainers that straighten teeth without metal brackets. 

Lingual Braces Pros and Cons

The main pros and cons of lingual braces summarized:

lingual braces

Pros

Cons

The key advantage of lingual appliances is the aesthetics; people will probably not notice you have the hidden braces. 

The main disadvantage is that they are high maintenance. Braces on the backside of the teeth are more difficult for the orthodontist to work on than standard braces, and you can expect longer appointments. A disadvantage to consider if you already have cavities is that you cannot have other dental work done while the brace is fitted.

If you are interested in non-metal brace alternatives, you can check out Invisalign aligners, and the AlignerCo Review.

Inside Braces for Adults vs Clear Aligners 

Like all other braces, alignment braces move teeth a little at a time with continuous pressure. The difference is that no metal is fitted to your teeth.

The clear braces are a series of clear plastic aligners, shaped in sequence from the first correction to the final target smile. Each aligner is designed to progressively move the teeth into an even shape and the patient wears a new one every 1-2 weeks as part of their own treatment plan. They are made by orthodontists and are recognized by the FDA [2].

Clear aligners have some great results and a professional look. The best results are with those in need of simple teeth correction; those with more severe orthodontic problems may still benefit more from lingual orthodontic treatment.

If you do not need a deep orthodontic intervention, check out Byte Aligners review for more information. Payment plans are also available.

The process of Byte or Invisalign treatment can be as fast as 6 months but may also take 1-2 years, depending on what your teeth look like and what you are looking to achieve. Aligners are worn on both the top and bottom rows of teeth and it is recommended that they are kept on for 22 hours a day, for an optimum result.

A key difference between aligners and any type of metal brace is the way they are fitted and the type of follow-up required. Byte Alignment clear braces are more or less fitted at home, as you can make a mold of your own teeth. Professional orthodontists create the aligners, but the company can operate solely through mail order and no dentist appointment is required. 

FAQ

A few of your most common questions about lingual braces answered! 

Can You Get Braces Behind Your Teeth?

Yes, many orthodontists now fit braces on the back of the teeth and the treatment is approved by the FDA.

Are Lingual Braces Worth It?

Yes, if you need metal braces because your teeth cannot be fixed with an aligner and you do not want people to see your braces. However, they are an investment and can be difficult to maintain.

Are Lingual Braces Permanent?

Usually, the braces are fitted for 1-2 years before being removed. As with more traditional braces, you will have to wear a retainer for a long time, possibly permanently, depending on your teeth.

How Much Does It Cost to Put Braces Behind Your Teeth?

The going rate is usually between $10,000 to $13,000. On the other hand, clear aligners, such as Byte Aligners, cost between $1,895 and $2,245.

Conclusion 

Making a decision to get braces in adulthood is not easy. It is right that you consider all options and there are various types of braces that may suit your needs. 

Lingual braces are a sound orthodontic intervention for those with specialized orthodontic needs and are fully approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) and FDA, therefore could be worth the investment depending on your needs. 

Clear aligners can be effective for simple teeth straightening or dental treatment. They are also much more affordable, but keep in mind that mail-order mold braces are not approved by the ADA [4].

References

  1. “Product Classification.” Accessdata.fda.gov, www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfPCD/classification.cfm?ID=NXC. 
  2. Salloum, Rand Bin. “Lingual Orthodontics Appliance, an Overview.” ClinMed International Library, Clinmed Journals, clinmedjournals.org/articles/ijodh/international-journal-of-oral-and-dental-health-ijodh-4-057.php?jid=ijodh. 
  3. ADA Discourages DIY Orthodontics through Resolution, www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2017-archive/november/ada-discourages-diy-orthodontics-through-resolution. 
 
What Are Lingual Braces? 2021 Guide to Incognito Braces

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