Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are attached to the back of your teeth, which makes them very discrete, and are available from most cosmetic orthodontists. They are often referred to as invisible braces as most people wont even know that you are undergoing treatment as they won't be able to see your braces.

How much does a lingual brace cost?

Lingual braces can cost between £3000 and £13000 depending on the individual case and the work involved. There are a few different systems and types of lingual braces, meaning that the cost can vary significantly. Other things that will affect the cost are:

  • The practitioner and his / her experience / qualifications
  • The amount and complexity of the correction required
  • If one or both arches need correction
  • The location of the clinic
  • The timescale of the entire treatment and number of visits required to your orthodontist.

How does a lingual brace work?

The lingual brace works in a very similar way to conventional braces, only the brace it situated on the back of your teeth, rather than the front. The wire and brackets put pressure on the teeth, slowly moving them into position. The lingual brace is more expensive than a traditional brace because the brackets must be custom made to fit the patient's teeth. The front of the teeth is usually very similar from person to person, but the backs of our teeth can vary greatly.

Suitability for a lingual brace

Lingual braces are not suitable for those with very small teeth or for people who have certain bites, which may affect the brace when it is in position. A lingual brace is also not suitable for children who still have adult teeth yet to come through. However in the most part lingual braces can be used to correct the majority of orthodontic problems.

Like traditional braces, lingual braces are used to treat:

  • Bite problems caused by misaligned teeth
  • Spacing, crowding and rotated teeth

What does a lingual brace look like?

A lingual brace is completely invisible from the front view when you smile, as it is all hidden behind your teeth. This will appeal to those who need more extensive work than clear braces will provide, but do not want so much metal to be visible. The brackets themselves are quite flat and custom moulded to fit the back surfaces of each individual tooth.


It can take anywhere between 1 to 4 weeks to adjust to a lingual brace. You may experience some mild discomfort while eating, and your tongue may become temporarily sore as it adjusts to the brace. There may be slight speech impairment before you get used to wearing the brace, and you may have trouble swallowing initially. Some patients may need to learn new swallowing techniques. Once you have adjusted to the lingual braces you wont even notice that they are there.

Dental hygiene will be more difficult with lingual braces, meaning that tooth decay is more likely to occur than with conventional braces. You will not be able to see clearly if any food is trapped in the wire, meaning that your dental regime must be very thorough. Your orthodontist will advise you on the best way to keep your teeth clean and healthy.


Lingual braces require at least two visits to your orthodontist to be fitted. There is usually an interval of 3 to 10 days between the first and second visit. During the first visit the orthodontist will make a model of your teeth. This is then sent to a laboratory so that the individual brackets can be made and customised to your requirements.

During your second visit your brackets will be fitted to the back of your teeth with cement. Once the brackets are in place the wire, which has been shaped into the ideal position for your teeth, will be threaded through them. As the wire tries to its shape back to that ideal position, it will push your teeth into place.

You will need regular check-ups with your orthodontist so that the brace can be adjusted and your teeth can be cleaned. As the brace is fitted on to the back of your teeth, these check-ups will take longer than if you were wearing standard braces.

Treatment will usually take between 1 and 3 years to complete, a very similar time to traditional braces.

Things to remember:

  • These braces are completely invisible, but because of where they are situated fitting and adjusting them will take longer.
  • Not all orthodontists are qualified to fit lingual braces, therefore finding one that can fit them may be difficult.
  • Greater risk of tooth decay because cleaning the backs of your teeth will be harder.
  • Lingual braces are more expensive that standard braces

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