Lingual braces

Lingual braces are one of several options for discreet cosmetic teeth straightening. They’re virtually invisible when you’re smiling, eating or talking, so no one knows you’re wearing them. Therefore, although they’re suitable for all ages, this makes them ideal for adults who want to get their teeth straightened, or get rid of gaps in their teeth.

What are lingual braces?

Sometimes called ‘hidden braces’, lingual braces are just like traditional braces except they’re fitted to the inside of your teeth rather than the front surface. So although they can’t be seen by other people, they’re still a type of fixed metal brace, made of brackets and wires.

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How do lingual braces work?

A strong ‘arch’ wire is threaded through the brackets glued to the back of your teeth. Because your teeth need straightening, this will pull the arch wire out of shape.

Over time, the arch wire pulls back to its original shape, and this means that your teeth – attached to the wire – go with it. As a result, they get straightened into an improved dental arch.

You’ll need to go back to your dentist every few weeks to have the wires tightened and adjusted until you achieve the desired result.

Who can wear lingual braces?

They’re suitable for all ages, particularly adults who want to correct their smile without everyone noticing. They can be a good option if you’re into contact sports like rugby, although we’d recommend a mouth guard. And they’re ideal if you play a wind instrument like the flute. However, depending on your teeth alignment they might not be suitable for all cases, so consult your dentist about options.

How long do lingual braces take?

Depending on how much straightening you need, lingual braces can take anything from a few months to two years. Even if you need the full two years, you’ll start to see a difference within a few months.

What is a ‘social’ lingual brace?

There are two types of lingual brace: ‘Social’ lingual braces are more of a cosmetic fix, while the standard version is for those who need more extensive straightening

 ‘Social’ lingual brace  Standard lingual brace
 Ideal for a purely cosmetic fix, including small gaps       Suitable for more overcrowded, gapped or misaligned teeth  
 Designed to move the front six to eight teeth  Designed to straighten a whole arch or the whole mouth
 Likely to take months rather than years  Likely to take up to two years


How much do lingual braces cost?

Lingual braces can be a little more expensive than other teeth straightening options. They need specialist equipment to make and fit them, and they’re custom-made to fit the unique arches of your own mouth. Your appointments may also need to be longer. For more information on the cost of lingual braces, it’s best to talk to your dentist.

Where can you get lingual braces?

Many Bupa Dental Care practices offer lingual braces. If you’d like to know more, or you have a particular question, find your local practice offering orthodontics and get in touch. It’s worth asking what other options your dentist can offer you, too, so you can find the best teeth straightening treatment for you.

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More options for teeth straightening

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