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Not so long ago train-track braces were synonymous with straightening teeth. Nowadays, we’re lucky to have a choice of less conspicuous appliances, including clear, removable aligners and hidden lingual braces.
Lingual braces are incredibly discreet. They’re essentially a fixed brace that’s fitted behind your teeth. Making them an appealing option for anyone who wants to keep their orthodontic treatment a secret.Lingual braces were first introduced in the 1970s. Early versions were relatively cumbersome, so unsurprisingly they took a while to gain in popularity. Thankfully, much has changed and the latest lingual braces are more capable, comfortable and popular than ever.
They also offer patients more choice and your lingual brace can be designed to suit your exact needs.
Customised lingual braces
While some lingual braces still use ‘one-size-fits-all’ brackets and wires, you can now opt for an entirely bespoke appliance. eBrace, for example, features custom-made brackets and wires, which are designed and manufactured using CAD/CAM technology to fit your teeth precisely.
This precision helps to increase efficiency, and in the case of customised brackets improve the comfort of your brace by ensuring a low-profile design.
Your orthodontist can also request special attachments or even second brackets to help achieve complex movements. This allows them to treat problems such as severely rotated teeth, which otherwise may not be suitable for lingual braces.
You can even choose the material your brace is made from. Gold alloy is ideal for anyone who suffers from a nickel allergy, while nickel chrome and cobalt-chromium alloy offer more affordable options.
Short-term lingual braces
As well as straightening your teeth, lingual braces can be used to help improve the way they bite together. However, not everyone is looking for the ‘perfect bite’. Adults are usually more concerned about the way their front teeth look when they talk and smile.
In response to this demand, a new generation of ‘short-term braces’ have evolved to discreetly straighten the front teeth. Short-term options include fixed clear braces, removable aligners and… lingual braces.
Short-term lingual braces such as eBrace Visual are fitted to the front six or eight teeth. In all other ways they are the same as their conventional counterparts with all the benefits of customised brackets and wires.
Because treatment is usually straightforward it’s often more affordable and faster than aligning the whole arch. Sometimes the front teeth can be straightened in just a few months.
Self-ligating lingual braces
Traditional lingual braces typically use small elastic bands or metal ligatures to connect the arch wire to the brackets. Self-ligating braces like eLock feature specially designed brackets that use clips instead of ligatures to hold the wire in place, helping to reduce friction and improve efficiency.
These sliding clips make it easier for your orthodontist to change your arch wire throughout your treatment. Helping to speed up your appointments. They’re also less likely to harbour food and plaque than elastic ligatures, making it easier for you to keep your teeth clean and healthy during your treatment.
Choosing your lingual brace
With so many options, choosing the right brace can seem daunting. We recommend organising a consultation with a specialist orthodontist, so you can discuss all your options and find out what’s right for you.