Lingual braces work just like fixed braces but from behind the teeth. They are often a ‘go to’ private treatment option for those who speak publicly as part of their job, work in front of a camera or just want to keep their orthodontic treatment a secret.
The idea of having braces as an adult can be quite off putting for some as it may throw up childhood memories of bulky brackets or perhaps visible metal braces just aren’t viable for a current job role. Luckily, there are ‘invisible’ or discrete options available and at the disposal of private, adult patients.
Currently, one of the most talked about ‘invisible’ treatments are clear aligners, which are removable. The patient is given a new set at each appointment as their teeth move. Here at the practice, we offer Invisalign. This treatment can work wonderfully for more minor tooth alignment issues but for some, committing to wearing aligners for 20 hours a day can be difficult or perhaps the problems they have with their teeth require more complex orthodontic treatment. In this case, lingual braces may be the better option.
Lingual braces work just like fixed metal braces but from behind the teeth. The name ‘Lingual’ stems from the Latin word for tongue. Lingual braces are almost completely hidden from sight because of their placement behind the teeth and the great thing about them is that they correct most orthodontic problems including more complex issues. Unlike removable invisible orthodontic options, lingual enables your orthodontist to have control over your treatment in the same way that they would with metal braces across the front of teeth. As mentioned in a blog by The British Lingual Orthodontic Society, “They can make adjustments to your brace in order to achieve very precise movements and tweak individual teeth until they’re in just the right position.”
Our orthodontist, Dr Rob Slater is a specialist in the lingual technique and is also a past president of The British lingual Orthodontic Society. Here at One Devonshire Place in Birmingham, we use a range of systems that include Incognito, STB and ORG, which are all capable of achieving highly customised results.
Lingual braces began life if Beverly Hills and in Japan and were invented by Craven Kurz and Kinya Fujita. Craven Kurz wanted to hide the brace for appearance sake, while Fujita created an appliance for patients involved in Martial Arts. By the time the 1980s came around, lingual braces had sparked the interest of orthodontists around the world and the first Lingual Orthodontic Society was set up in France, called the Société Français Orthodontie Linguale in 1986.
Before they were widely available to the public, these hidden braces have been an orthodontic treatment of choice for celebrities for many years due to their discreet nature. British model, Kelly Brook and TV personality and musician Myleene Klass have both spoken publicly about their treatment in the past. There are also rumours that the Princess Kate Middleton had this type of invisible treatment before the royal wedding.
Lingual braces have come a long way since their Californian/Japanese beginnings and brackets are now smaller than ever. Wires and brackets tend to be made of stainless steel or gold alloy and often custom-made to fit to a patient’s mouth. Just like normal braces, the patient should wear a retainer after their orthodontic treatment in order to ‘retain’ all of their work and maintain a straight, beautiful smile.
If you are interested in seeing whether lingual braces are the treatment for you, why not book in for a consultation with our friendly team?