A guide to invisible fitted braces

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Most people are familiar with the standard fitted brace, which is usually seen on children and teenagers. In more recent years, many dental teams have switched out the use of dental braces for invisible aligners, which are harder to spot but are also rising in popularity among adult and teenage patients.

But were you aware that there is something of a middle ground between these two and that you can have a fitted brace which is invisible? Technically, it’s not invisible but it is applied to the back of teeth making it very hard to spot!

This kind of brace is known as a lingual brace or Incognito Weybridge and is ideal for people who want to straighten their teeth in adult life without the visual issues associated with fitted braces. It’s also ideal for those who may have a complex misalignment that cannot be corrected with invisible aligners, so read on for a simple guide to this kind of brace.

What are they?

Lingual braces are simply metal braces which are fixed to the back of the teeth rather than the front. Much like regular metal braces, they do require adjusting and tightening every 6 to 8 weeks for them to move the teeth. And yes, much like regular braces, they may even need to have elastic bands attached to help them move the teeth properly.

As mentioned before they are more suitable for people who have complex orthodontic issues but do not don’t undertake a traditional fitted orthodontic brace and as such, this option is often more expensive.

How long do they take to work?

On average lingual braces take around 3 years to work for most adult patients, but this is actually due to the complexity of the misalignment being treated and not the brace itself. For many people, they may only need to wear a lingual brace for around 18 months but your dentist will be able to give you a more accurate breakdown of how long it will take to move your teeth using this tool.

Are they complicated to look after?

Because they are placed on the back of the teeth they are more complicated to look after than regular braces. You will need to invest in an electric toothbrush, and interdental brushes and even attend hygienist appointments regularly whilst wearing this brace to prevent the build-up of plaque.

Are they suitable for kids?

Yes, many children have worn lingual braces and have benefited from their discretion.

However, the majority of dental and orthodontic teams are less than eager to prescribe lingual braces to children, simply because they are trickier to look after and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease if the correct maintenance is not followed.

Are they uncomfortable?

As this kind of brace will require tightening and adjusting, it may indeed be a bit uncomfortable to wear. As well as this, it is also more likely to come into contact with the tongue which is a sensitive area. If you have concerns about this, ask your dental team for dental wax, which can be placed on the hard wire elements of the brace to soften it against the soft tissues of the inner mouth.

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