Orthodontic Wonders: How Lingual Braces Work to Perfect Your Smile

A captivating smile is often considered one of the most attractive features a person can possess. In recent years, a winning smile and perfect teeth have become even more desirable as people travel far and wide to achieve that Hollywood-styled smile.

However, regardless of the various shortcuts available, the reality is that achieving a truly perfect smile sometimes requires the intervention of some orthodontic wonders.

Traditional braces (most commonly known as train track braces) have been instrumental in straightening teeth for decades. In fact, they are part of almost any stereotypical description of an awkward teenager. But as more people, particularly young adults, look to address their teeth misalignment issues, the demand for a more discreet option has led to increased popularity of lingual braces.
In this blog, we will answer the question, “How do lingual braces work to perfect your smile?”


What are Lingual Braces?

Lingual braces are a clever advancement in orthodontic treatment – a discreet alternative to conventional braces. Unlike traditional braces that are attached to the front of the teeth, lingual braces are placed on the back or inner side of the teeth. The real appeal is that it makes them virtually invisible to others. The placement on the back side of the teeth not only addresses cosmetic concerns but can also provides a more comfortable experience for the wearer.


How do lingual braces work?

Lingual braces work on the same fundamental principles as traditional braces. They apply consistent, gentle pressure to shift the teeth into their desired positions. The key difference is their discreet placement, making them an appealing option for individuals who may feel self-conscious about wearing visible braces.

1. Alignment: The archwire exerts pressure on the brackets, which, in turn, applies force to the teeth. This pressure gradually moves the teeth into alignment. Your orthodontist will adjust the archwire during follow-up appointments to ensure the teeth continue to move into their desired position.
2. Correction of Bite Issues: Lingual braces not only straighten crooked teeth, but they are also particularly useful when looking to correct bite issues such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Because they are 100% customised to each individual, lingual braces allow for precise adjustments specifically tailored to each patient’s dental needs.
3. Discreet Treatment: The main advantage and greatest appeal of lingual braces is their discreet appearance. Lingual braces are essentially “hidden” behind the teeth. If people didn’t know you were wearing braces, they would probably not even notice. It’s one of the reasons why lingual braces are so popular among adults who don’t want to wear braces due to personal preferences or professional reasons.
4. Comfort: Lingual braces are known for being more comfortable than traditional braces. The smooth brackets on the inner surface of the teeth reduce the likelihood of irritation to the cheeks and lips.


What are lingual braces made of?

Lingual braces are very similar to traditional braces in terms of their components. It is their placement that sets them apart. The key components include:

  • Brackets: Lingual brackets are customised to fit the contours of the inner surface of each tooth. These brackets play a crucial role in holding the archwire in place, exerting the necessary pressure to move the teeth into their desired positions.
  • Archwire: Similar to traditional braces, lingual braces use an archwire that connects the brackets. The archwire is responsible for applying gentle pressure to guide the teeth into proper alignment over time.
  • Bands and Ligatures: Bands and ligatures are used to secure the brackets to the teeth. These components work together to ensure the braces stay securely in place throughout the treatment process.


What are the benefits of lingual braces?

Now we now how lingual braces work, let’s discuss their benefits.

1. Aesthetics: The most significant advantage of lingual braces is their discreet appearance. For individuals who are hesitant about the idea of visible braces, lingual braces offer a solution that allows them to undergo orthodontic treatment without feeling shy or self-conscious.
2. Customisation: Lingual braces are customised for each patient. Apart from the precise fit, the customisation results in more efficient and targeted tooth movement.
3. Versatility: Lingual braces can address a wide range of orthodontic issues, including complex cases that may be challenging for other types of braces.
4. Comfort: The placement of lingual braces on the inner surfaces of the teeth minimises potential discomfort and irritation often associated with traditional braces.


How are Lingual Braces fitted?

The process of getting lingual braces fitted involves a number of steps:

1. Consultation: The first step is a thorough consultation with your orthodontist. During this appointment, your orthodontist will evaluate your dental health, discuss your goals, and determine if lingual braces are the right option for you. We often remind our patients that just because they have a preference for their treatment or brace type, it may not always be the best option for their specific misalignment issue. This consultation is a key step in determining exactly what is right for you.
2. Impressions: Assuming lingual braces are your best option, your orthodontist will take detailed impressions of your teeth. These impressions are used to create custom brackets that fit the unique contours of your teeth.
3. Bracket Placement: The customised brackets are then bonded to the inner surfaces of your teeth. This process requires precision and skill to ensure they are placed exactly in the right place to get the best results. This is one of the reasons why not all orthodontists offer lingual braces. To fit lingual braces, you need to undergo specific training. It is not a standard qualification all orthodontists have.
4. Follow-Up Appointments: As with traditional braces, you will need to attend regular follow-up appointments scheduled regularly to monitor progress, make adjustments, and address any concerns you may have. These appointments are crucial for the success of the treatment, so it is important that you attend them.


Challenges and Considerations

While lingual braces offer a number of fantastic benefits, it’s worth considering some of the potential challenges, as well. It is important to remember that many of these considerations are common across most brace types and can simply be a part of the orthodontic process. However, treatment periods are relatively short and the longer-term benefits far outweigh any short-term inconvenience. You can read more about treatment periods for lingual braces here.

  • Adjustment Period: Similar to any orthodontic treatment, there is an adjustment period for the wearer. It may take a few days to a couple of weeks to get used to the feeling of lingual braces on the inner surfaces of the teeth. Funnily enough, we often hear of patients going through the same adjustment period when they have their braces removed.
  • Speech Impediment: Some patients may experience a temporary change in speech initially. However, with practice, most people adapt quickly and regain their normal speech patterns.
  • Oral Hygiene: Cleaning lingual braces requires extra attention as the inner surfaces can be more challenging to access. Regular and thorough oral hygiene practices, including flossing and brushing, are crucial to prevent issues such as cavities and gum disease.


Lingual braces are one of the most remarkable advancements in orthodontics. They combine effective treatment with the bonus of their discreet appearance.

As the demand for less obvious orthodontic options continues to grow, lingual braces have become an increasingly popular choice for individuals who want to perfect their smiles without the traditional brace look. Whether you’re an adult professional, a teenager, or anyone in between, lingual braces are a great solution to achieving the smile you’ve always dreamed of, without compromising your confidence along the way. It’s just one of the wonders of the orthodontic world!


Find out how our specialist team can find your inner smile.

Get in touch to arrange your free consultation.

Start your journey
If under 18
Parents, if under 18
Parents, if under 18
Choose your closest practice
Choose your closest practice