Lingual braces


Lingual braces are placed behind your teeth, and are therefore virtually invisible to other people. Usually, lingual brackets are made of metal.

Orthodontists need special training to be able to treat patients with lingual braces. Therefore, not every orthodontist provides them.

Lingual Orthodontics

 Most of us are surely familiar with Orthodontic braces. They've been around for a long time, in fact since the late 1800's. We've either had the experience as a patient or know someone who has. Simply put, they are comprised of brackets and/or bands bonded to the teeth with an archwire interconnecting these brackets to move the teeth in three dimensions. They are very efficient but in today's fashion conscious world, for some, they are just plain ugly, especially for adults. There are alternatives to standard metal labial bonded braces and these include clear ceramic or plastic brackets or a series of invisible aligners such as Invisalign, but these articles will focus on the development of and some of the laboratory procedures of lingual orthodontics.

  • Lingual orthodontics is exactly as the name suggests - orthodontic brackets placed on the lingual surfaces of the teeth and connected by special archwires. The advantages aesthetically are immediately evident, but other advantages include the labial enamel is not etched, bonded or scarred during debonding. Braces do not have to be removed early or social events and people with highly visible social jobs can still continue without embarrassment.
  • The disadvantages of lingual Orthodontics include speech interference and patient adaptation is not always predictable. Tongue irritation is common and patients with narrow arches or tongue thrust may not adapt well. The technique is clinically more time consuming and patients tend to be more demanding. Some traditional labial mechanics cannot be used due to the smaller inter-bracket distances and smaller arch radius. Delving into the details of most of this is beyond the scope of the article but suffice to say there are differences between the two modalities.
  • The lingual bracket had to be specifically designed for the lingual surface of the teeth and a method of positioning these brackets had to be invented as direct bonding of lingual brackets is virtually impossible, hence an indirect method had to be developed.
  • These days, there are many different types of lingual brackets on the market but the positioning of these brackets in relation to the teeth is really the critical factor common to all. So the real trick to get lingual orthodontics to work in the real world was to devise a method so the brackets could be placed onto the tooth with the correct torque and angulation in relation to the tooth already determined. This is much easier to do with labial braces but a real challenge for lingual braces.
  • Lingual braces were invented in the 1970's when a Playboy model wanted to know if she could have some type of "invisible" orthodontic treatment so she could keep working. The first attempts were crude but lead to more interest in lingual orthodontics. In 1984, the Ormco Company devised the TARG (Torque Angulation Reference Guide) device for more precise bracket positioning, especially for the lingual technique.

Ormco Lingual Braces

TARG - Bracket placement-measuring devices

Ormco G7 Lingual Braces

These esthetically appealing braces are available in translucent white to blend with the teeth making them less visible than traditional braces. Lingual braces are applied behind the teeth as compared to metal or ceramic braces which are applied to the front of your teeth. Often called "Invisible Braces", they are the best and only non-visible form of fixed orthodontic therapy. Although lingual braces are more expensive they offer a highly cosmetic alternative to those patients who otherwise would not consider treatment.

Lingual braces will transform the way you look. If your teeth are badly aligned now, they are also probably affecting your facial appearance. Since the alignment of your teeth contributes greatly to the way your mouth and jaws look, improved alignment results in a more attractive facial appearance. The way your teeth are aligned also affects your bite, as well as the bone and gum tissue. Proper alignment of your teeth and a correct bite promotes overall good oral health. Lingual braces are just as effective as traditional braces but as they are at the back, your teeth are not obscured and you can see your smile improve daily.

 Are Lingual Braces more uncomfortable than traditional braces?

Initial discomfort is similar to that of traditional braces. The difference is that the Lingual Braces will affect the tongue and traditional braces will affect the cheeks and lips. Soreness of the tongue usually lasts only for a few weeks and frequent salt water rinses help avoid discomfort. Once the oral tissues have "toughened" the braces are very comfortable. Patients tend to take approximately 1-4 weeks before they achieve a reasonable comfort level.

Can anyone wear lingual braces?

Yes, most adults and teens who can wear braces on the front of their teeth can wear concealed braces. However, some people with very small teeth or with certain "bites" are better treated with traditional appliances. An orthodontic evaluation will let you know if "invisible" braces might be for you.

Does the treatment take longer?

No, treatment time is comparable to that of traditional braces and sometimes even shorter. Some cases respond more efficiently to Lingual Braces due to certain mechanical advantages of the appliance. 

How easy are they to keep clean?

As always, it is vitally important for you to maintain good oral hygiene and you should brush after every meal. Regular examinations by your family dentist are recommended during the orthodontic treatment period. A water pick or electronic toothbrush is also helpful. If dental plaque is allowed to become thick around the brace the plaque itself may damage the teeth. Instruction will be given on the use of special brushes.

Ormco Light Lingual Braces

The Light Lingual System delivers superior outcomes – efficient, simplified and faster treatment as well as greater patient comfort 

Aesthetic Solutions

With Light Lingual, patient compliance issues disappear as you no longer need to worry about misplaced aligners or interruptions in treatment time, looking good during the treatment process. To do so, patients have had to sacrifice comfort. Finally, aesthetics and comfort are united in one appliance system.


With its reduced dimensions and special rounded design, The Ormco Light Lingual brackets (STb brackets) are designed to provide maximum patient comfort and easy hygiene maintenance, making it unique among all other lingual brackets. Unique to lingual brackets, Light Lingual has minimal impact on tongue position and speech; clinical studies have demonstrated that the negligible speech difficulty disappears within a few days of bonding. Light Lingual brackets have the lowest bracket profile at just 1.5 mm.

  • Reduced dimension and rounded design
  • The lowest bracket profile - 1.5 mm total thickness
  • Minimal bracket impact on tongue and speech
  • Minimum speech and mastication
  • Maximum acceptability (low-force mechanics and contoured design)
  • Easily maintained hygiene


The Light Lingual appliance is the first to emphasize low friction in lingual orthodontics. This feature, together with very light forces, makes tooth movement faster, considerably reducing treatment time while accomplishing your ultimate occlusal, aesthetic and fictional aims.

  • Reduced treatment time
  • Faster tooth movement due to reduced friction and large interbracket distance
  • Less bracket interference in crowed cases
  • Simplified lab procedure

Incognito Lingual Braces

Incognito Lingual Braces (iBraces) are a new generation of orthodontic braces for teens and adults, men and women ranging from the age of 13 to 60+. They are the only 100% customized and molded to fit to each specific tooth shape. Not only are they hidden from view, but they are designed according to your unique tooth anatomy to be as comfortable as possible.

Incognito Lingual Braces (iBraces) are 100% customized

Incognito Lingual Braces (iBraces) are placed behind your teeth so no one will know that you are wearing braces unless you tell them. These unique braces are created using state-of-the-art technology and are 100% customized to the shape of your teeth and to your dental situation. iBraces have the unique prescription that your orthodontist creates for you built-in to ensure you get the results that you want. With iBraces you get efficient, effective tooth movement and great aesthetics.

Who wears iBraces?

  • People who want to avoid damage to the front surfaces of their teeth
  • People who are concerned about wearing braces that show
  • Adult professionals
  • Musicians who play wind instruments
  • Adults and teens playing contact sports

iBraces™ Lingual Procedure

  1. Preparing your caseYour doctor takes a very precise impression of your teeth, which will be used to pour models for fabricating custom brackets and wires. Your doctor sends the impression along with his or her prescription to the iBraces lab.
  2. Making your customized iBracesWe use new CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping technologies to design and fabricate 100% customized iBraces for you at our state-of-the-art lab. The brackets are made using rapid prototyping technology and then fabricated with a highly durable dental gold alloy. A set of precision wires is also designed and then bent using robotic technology.
  3. Getting Your New iBracesApproximately four weeks after your impressions are taken your iBraces will arrive at your doctor's office. Your doctor will use a very precise process for preparing your teeth and putting on your new braces. After your braces are on you will need to return for monitoring and progress appointments until your doctor decides that your treatment is complete.