Lingual Braces 

 Adults who want straighter teeth, along with the boost in self-confidence that a beautiful smile can bring, have several treatment options. Most people are familiar with traditional braces and clear aligners—a removable and nearly invisible alternative. But there is another option that many don’t know about: lingual braces. 

Lingual braces are the most inconspicuous appliance available for orthodontic treatment today. You can’t see these braces at all. That’s because they go on the back (tongue side) of the teeth where they are completely invisible—even to the wearer. Otherwise they are basically the same as braces that go on the front of the teeth, consisting of a wire held in place by individual brackets. Any malocclusion (“mal” – bad; “occlusion” – bite) that can be treated with traditional braces on the front of the teeth can be treated with lingual braces on the back of the teeth—only the mechanics are reversed: A push with traditional or “labial” (lip-side) braces is a pull with lingual braces. 

Weighing the Pros and Cons 

Like all medical procedures, the various methods of orthodontic treatment have specific advantages and disadvantages that must be weighed before selecting one to use. Choosing which type of orthodontic appliance is best for a particular person, however, often comes down to lifestyle considerations—and that’s exactly what led to the invention of lingual braces. They were developed simultaneously by two orthodontists: one in Beverly Hills, who was looking for an invisible form of treatment for his very appearance-conscious patients; and another in Japan, whose patients were martial artists who could not safely participate in their sport with braces on the front of their teeth. 

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