Hidden braces are an incredibly discreet form of orthodontic treatment. Also called lingual braces, the braces are placed on the back of your teeth. That means when you smile, the braces are totally hidden from view.
Even though this orthodontic treatment is highly effective and more discreet than other orthodontic treatment options, it’s not as widely known. That’s because not all orthodontists offer lingual braces since the treatment does require specialised training.
The good news is that the team here at Geoffrey Wexler Orthodontist do offer hidden braces! To help you get a better understanding of this orthodontic treatment, read on.
What You Need to Know About Hidden Braces
You’re probably already familiar with traditional metal braces that sit on the front of your teeth. What makes lingual braces different is that they’re placed behind your teeth, or tongue-side as we like to call it. Hidden braces are almost completely invisible, making them a popular choice amongst teenagers and adults.
Lingual braces are also an advantage if you play a sport or wind instrument, and they’re easier to get used to compared to traditional braces.
These braces are custom-made to correct your particular orthodontic problem. This means that you might pay a higher price for discretion, but the speed at which lingual braces work along with the fact that they’re almost completely invisible is well worth it for many patients.
The Benefits of Lingual Braces
Most patients choose hidden braces for aesthetic reasons. As we’ve mentioned, no one will know you’re wearing them, so you can straighten your teeth without anyone realising. That’s exactly why these braces are often called invisible or even incognito braces.
What’s more, this orthodontic treatment is a lot safer for athletes since having braces behind the teeth prevent impact injuries. Just imagine being hit in the mouth with any kind of ball. The damage could be a great deal worse with braces on the front of your teeth compared to on the back of the teeth. Lingual braces also help to protect your lips and mouth when you play sports.
Hidden Braces – the Downfalls
Like any orthodontic treatment, incognito braces have pros and cons. You’ll need a few weeks to get used to these braces, which means you can expect a few temporary problems with eating and speaking. But after your adjustment period, you won’t even notice you have braces.
You’ll need regular check-ups to ensure your braces are working. Keep in mind that we need to work behind your teeth and upside down, which means appointment times can be slightly longer.
Keeping up good oral hygiene habits can be tricky at first, too. You’ll need to be diligent with brushing and flossing to keep your braces clean.
These downfalls are minimal and temporary though, and once you’re used to your hidden braces, you’re going to love achieving straight teeth without anyone even noticing.
Applying Lingual Braces
Invisible braces are designed specifically to fit each of your teeth. Once the brackets are made, we cement them into place in one go.
The first step, though, is to take accurate measurements. We do this by taking impressions of your teeth and then sending them off to the fabrication company. We then create a mock-up of what your teeth will look like at the end of your treatment.
This is different from traditional braces, where the brackets are usually pre-manufactured instead of custom-made. What’s more, with traditional braces, the brackets set in place one at a time.
Lingual braces were developed more than 40 years ago, and there continue to be advances to this orthodontic treatment. For instance, today’s brackets are much smaller, lessening the irritation.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
The good news is that having braces behind your teeth doesn’t make your treatment time longer. It all depends on your particular orthodontic problem. You’ll also need to be diligent about attending appointments, following instructions and wearing your bands.
You can expect your treatment to take anywhere from 12 to 24 months.
How to Keep Your Teeth Clean with Incognito Braces
It doesn’t matter what type of orthodontic treatment you have, it’s important to keep your teeth clean. Food can easily get lodged in the wires and brackets, and this results in a build-up of plaque.
Make sure you brush after every meal, brushing every tooth at the gum line and also above and below the braces. Since hidden braces sit behind your teeth, you should pay attention to brushing that area. Often, a toothbrush with a narrower tip makes it easier to get to the back of your teeth.
The Cost of Fashion
The number one reasons patients choose hidden braces are for their aesthetic appeal, and this can sometimes come at a price. Lingual braces usually cost more than traditional braces as they’re simply more complicated and completely customised.
Orthodontists who apply hidden braces have had additional training, too, on lingual braces. What’s more, the treatment is more specialised which means appointments are often a little longer.
Overall, the cost of hidden braces depends on the length of the treatment. If your teeth need a lot of adjustments, the treatment will be longer and cost more. Smaller adjustments are quicker and cost less.
During your initial consultation, we’ll provide an estimate of how long treatment should take and the total cost. We also have flexible payment options to suit your budget.
Lingual Braces Are Comfortable
Similar to traditional braces, you will go through an adjustment period with your hidden braces. That’s simply because you’re not used to wearing them, especially next to your tongue. Don’t worry, though, your tongue will quickly adapt to sharing space with your wires and brackets. Most people say it takes just a couple of days to completely adjust.
On the bright side, incognito braces are totally customized for your mouth. That means they’re smoother and even smaller than traditional braces, which is why the adjustment period is faster.
Once you get used to your braces, you’ll realise they’re comfortable and you’ll probably not notice them after a while.
Are Hidden Braces for You?
Teenagers and adults whose permanent teeth have already grown in are good candidates for incognito braces. The brackets are smaller than those we use for traditional braces, so if you have smaller than average teeth or severe bite problems, you might have to consider another type of treatment.
The best way to find out if you’re a candidate for hidden braces is to book an appointment at Geoffrey Wexler Orthodontist today.