Lingual orthodontics involves placing braces behind your teeth.  It’s an exciting option to consider for both teens and adults who want to fix their smile invisibly.

There exist several invisible or clear orthodontic options for tooth straightening. Lingual technology offers one of the newest straightening options available.

Will they work for adults? Are they able to straighten teeth as beautifully as traditional braces can? How do behind-the-teeth braces compare to other clear braces /aligner options?

This page is a resource to answer all of your questions about lingual braces. You may hear different terms being used to describe behind-the-teeth braces, like lingualHarmony® bracesIncognito® bracesSureSmile® lingual braces and more.

Please read our ELOStm experts’ answers to the most frequently asked questions about lingual braces.

lingual braces patient

Treated by ELOS Orthodontist

What to Expect During the First Visit

Your Elite Lingual Orthodontic Study Club, Inc.  (ELOS) provider will begin by completing a personalized consultation, sometimes including digital x-rays and will include a complete oral and facial / profile examination. According to what your Elite orthodontic provider sees, you will receive a customized plan designed to address your personal orthodontic needs and take into consideration your lifestyle and personal desires. Your Elite Lingual provider’s goal is to give you a clear understanding of all your treatment options and how long treatment will take.

COMMON ORTHODONTIC NEEDS

Crowding

The most common condition addressed in orthodontic care is tooth crowding. Overcrowding can cause premature wear of the teeth, (difficulty in keeping teeth clean) and poor oral hygiene and jaw related conditions.

before orthodontic lingual braces treatment



Gapping and Spacing

Excess gapping or spacing between the teeth can be caused by missing teeth or a large jaw.

common orthodontic problems spacing



Crossbite

A cross bite is created when the upper teeth are aligned too far to the inside of the lower teeth. This can lead to excess tooth wear on lower teeth and jaw abnormality concerns.

anterior cross bite before treatment



Overbite

An Overbite occurs when the upper front teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth. This can lead to excessive tooth wear and gum recession.

overbite - before lingual braces treatment



Open Bite

An open bite occurs when the upper front teeth do NOT overlap the lower teeth at all. This can lead to excessive wear and fractures of the posterior teeth.

open bite - before lingual brace treatment



Overjet/Protrusion

(Commonly referred to by patients as an overbite) Overjet occurs when the upper front teeth are too far forward in relation to the lower front teeth. This can lead to fracturing or chipping of the teeth, difficulty closing lips around the teeth and several other problems.

protusion before lingual braces treatment



WHAT ARE LINGUAL / BEHIND THE TEETH BRACES?

Lingual technology is one of the newest orthodontic options available. The word lingual refers to the surface of the tooth next to the tongue. Lingual braces are invisible since they are applied to the inside of the teeth and the brackets face the tongue. This invisible treatment option is perfect for any type of orthodontic needs such as crowding, protrusion, open bites, crossbites, gaps and spaces.

WHAT ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEHIND THE TEETH BRACES?

Incognito and iBraces® (by 3M), Harmony® (by American Orthodontics), SureSmile® (by SureSmile), Speed® (by Speed), and In-Ovation L® (by Dentsply) are very popular brands of lingual braces that are being offered in orthodontic offices. No matter what type of lingual braces your ELOS provider uses, you’re guaranteed outstanding results.

HOW MUCH DO BRACES BEHIND THE TEETH COST?

The price of lingual/behind the teeth braces is usually more than the price of conventional braces and here are the reasons why:

The components used in traditional braces are mass-produced and are all stocked items. The components used for lingual systems is custom-made for you in a dental laboratory that uses sophisticated CAD/CAM technology in order to be fabricated. You receive custom-made brackets that fit only your teeth, which virtually guarantees excellent results and gives you a streamlined straightening process.

Some orthodontists will help patients cut the cost by using lingual braces on the inner side of the top teeth and traditional braces on the front of the lower teeth. The upper front teeth are the most visible, and this gives patients an invisible straightening option for their front teeth.

The cost of your braces can vary depending on your individual orthodontic treatment needs. While lingual braces generally but not always cost more than traditional braces, they are still an affordable option for most patients. Your orthodontist will discuss your treatment plan and the exact cost of your braces during your initial consultation. In many cases, orthodontic treatment is partially covered by insurance and may even be covered under your employer-sponsored flexible spending account.

ARE LINGUAL BRACES AN OPTION FOR ADULTS?

Anyone can have braces attached behind their teeth instead of in the front. Lingual is a straightening option that is commonly used for adults with gaps, crowding, protruding front teeth and any other orthodontic needs. This is a perfect solution for many adults who have avoided traditional braces because of embarrassment.

ARE LINGUAL BRACES AN OPTION FOR TEENS?

Lingual / Behind the teeth braces are extremely popular among teens because no one notices that they are wearing braces. Parents appreciate the fact that lingual braces are glued to the teeth and don’t require their teen’s compliance such as is required with clear plastic aligners. This is the perfect answer for invisible treatment and orthodontic success. Teens love having secret braces that their peers can’t see and to be able to eat lunch without worrying what food might be stuck in their front teeth afterwards!

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LINGUAL / BEHIND THE TEETH BRACES FROM AN ELOS ORTHODONTIST?

Only Elite lingual orthodontic providers can offer you expert lingual treatment options for any type of orthodontic problem for both teens and adults. By visiting an ELOS provider , you will be given the perfect solution to straighten your teeth whether it be lingual, clear aligners or clear braces.

WHAT ARE HARMONY BRACES?

Harmony lingual braces are custom-made self-ligating lingual braces. (self-ligating refers to brackets with less-friction and no elastic to hold the wire in place) Each bracket is custom-made to fit your individual teeth, making them ultra-comfortable. Harmony lingual braces are a hidden tooth-straightening system that attaches to the inside surface of the teeth.

They have small doors on the front of the bracket in order to keep your wire in place. Harmony braces provide a comfortable solution for every orthodontic need, including gaps and spaces, overcrowding, crossbite, overbite, open bite and protrusion. Harmony lingual braces offer the perfect invisible teen or adult orthodontic solution.

harmony braces

WHAT ARE INCOGNITO BRACES?

Incognito braces are custom-made bracket made to fit only your individual teeth. They are produced by 3M and are made of mostly gold.
Incognito braces use tiny invisible elastics to keep the wire attached to the braces behind your teeth, meaning they are not self-ligating.

incognito hidden lingual braces

WHAT ARE SURESMILE LINGUAL BRACES?

SureSmile braces offer an alternative to the negative factors that users experience with ceramic braces and clear braces. Clunky ceramic braces fail at providing the sleek, invisible look that modern patients are seeking.

Clear aligners were introduced in 1998, and many patients desire this invisible straightening option, but these clear, plastic aligners are very limited in their problem solving abilities. They can’t treat severe overbites, overcrowding or cross bite issues.

SureSmile provides an invisible teen/adult solution for all of the common orthodontic issues, including severe overbites and overcrowding. SureSmile is completely invisible and uses the recent advances in 3-D imaging and CAD/CAM technology to introduce modern behind the teeth braces.

SureSmile’s sophisticated planning tools and custom archwires for lingual treatment, achieving unprecedented precision, superior control and new levels of efficiency. Lingual treatment can be combined with labial treatment on an arch-by-arch basis.

suresmile braces

HOW WILL LINGUAL/BEHIND THE TEETH BRACES AFFECT MY SPEECH?

In the early stages of treatment, some people may experience a slight change in their speech. This is generally rectified very fast after practice reading out loud a few paragraphs and normally resolves itself within a few days. Anytime an appliance interferes between your teeth and tongue, whether it is clear plastic aligners or braces, an adjustment time may be needed. Within a short time your tongue will adapt and normal speech will resume.

Make sure to follow your ELOS providers instructions the day your braces are placed. To accelerate your speech adjustment your ELOS provider my provide you with practice phrases to recite!

LINGUAL BRACES TEEN vs. INVISALIGN TEEN

Lingual braces are less visible than clear aligners. Clear aligners give off a slight shine that can sometimes be seen with both Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, clear aligners and Clear Correct.

The clear aligner system is a clear option that can’t treat every common orthodontic issues that can be treated with lingual/behind the teeth braces.

Teens do well with lingual orthodontics, because they like the invisible aspect of the braces. Aligners may require attachments on some front teeth which is NOT very popular among teens.

Getting your teen to wear their aligners is not an issue with permanently affixed lingual braces! Removable aligners can be repeatedly forgotten or misplaced. Parents find that the invisible lingual braces placed behind the teeth provide their teen with an orthodontic treatment solution they love since they can watch their teeth become straighter and straighter without any braces showing. This can do wonders to a teen’s self-esteem.

HOW DO LINGUAL BRACES WORK?

Lingual braces, or braces behind the teeth, are an entirely new invisible orthodontic cosmetic solution that uses powerful technology to ensure that your teeth are correctly straightened and moved into their proper position. This technology accommodates numerous functional problems, including overcrowding and bite issues.

Lingual / behind the teeth braces work very similarly to traditional braces, and they offer solutions for every type of orthodontic problem. The main difference is the location of the brackets and the fact that they are highly customized.

Please refer to Harmony, Incognito, SureSmile and other pages to see how each one of them works.

DO LINGUAL BRACES HURT?

While traditional braces may cause irritation to your cheeks and lips due to the constant friction, lingual braces may create some irritation on your tongue, but not always. Your ELOS provider will give you specific instructions the day you have your lingual braces placed. This may include placing wax/Gooshy-Goo ™ on your braces for the first 2-3 nights to give your tongue some time to adjust.

Ask your ELOS Provider for any specific concerns.

HOW DO I CLEAN MY LINGUAL BRACES?

Wearing braces, whether lingual or traditional, requires a bit more effort in brushing and flossing. An electric toothbrush, such as a SonicCare, and a water flossing machine, such as a Waterpik, can also be very helpful. Items such as inter-dental brushes and specialty dental floss are available through your orthodontist and at local stores. Your ELOS provider will give you the proper tools and instructions you’ll need to maintain your braces and teeth in tip-top shape.

HOW DO I FIND A BEHIND THE TEETH/LINGUAL ORTHODONTIC SPECIALIST?

Lingual/behind the teeth braces are a new straightening option that must be used by an extremely skilled orthodontist, such as an ELOS provider. Not all orthodontists will offer lingual braces since they require a certain level of skill from both the orthodontist and staff.

When the pressure needed to move teeth is applied to the inside surface rather than the outside surface of a tooth, the orthodontist must have a firm command of what types of movements can and will occur. Only an experienced Elite Lingual orthodontist will be able to provide you with an enjoyable experience and a predictable, high-quality outcome.

If you are in North America or Canada, you can easily find a lingual orthodontic specialist near you, right here.

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