Ever noticed how celebrities always seem to have the most perfect, straight white teeth – even when they didn’t appear that way before they were famous? Society places more value on a great smile now than at any other time, and so the idea of fixing one’s crooked teeth can seem very attractive to anyone who cares about how they look. The answer is to wear braces, which apply continuous pressure to your teeth in order to ensure that they conform with a desirable shape. Of course, nobody wants to wear ‘train track’ braces as an adult. Thankfully, new technology means that anyone can straighten their teeth with the use of far more subtle aids.
Lingual Braces – an Invisible Fix
Lingual braces are a great way to fix a crooked smile. They are completely invisible, unlike traditional braces, and will not interfere with the wearer’s speech. This is how celebrities fix their teeth without showing off a metallic mouth. Past wearers include TV presenters Mylene Klass and Steve Jones, fashion designer Sadie Frost and glamour model Kelly Brook.
How do They Work?
Lingual braces are invisible because they sit behind the teeth, as opposed to in front. Like normal braces, they feature metallic clips joined with a wire which gradually force the teeth into a set pattern. However, modern technology makes this procedure far more comfortable. A mould is taken of the patient’s mouth, allowing the use of specialised computer software to design and produce a completely customised brace which will precisely conform to the patterns of each individual’s teeth. This process will usually require two trips to the dentist, alongside the regular checkups required to make sure that everything is proceeding as intended.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Obviously, lingual braces look far better than traditional ones, but there are a couple of drawbacks. This is due to the fact that they are situated on the back of your teeth. For example, it may take a couple of days to get used to the fact that your tongue will brush up against the metal as you speak. Furthermore, it could be that more food is trapped by lingual braces, requiring more careful brushing. For most people, these are minor concerns which are easily outweighed by the aesthetic advantage provided. Lastly, you’ll have to be very careful with foods such as sticky toffee and chewing gum, which for obvious reasons can be a bad idea!
How Much do They Cost?
The answer is: more than normal braces. The best approach is to get a direct quote from one of the many orthodontists in London, as the nature of lingual braces means that their design and thus cost will vary depending on the shape of your mouth. A quick search, however, will inform you that you are confined to private dentistry, and that you can expect to pay £3,000 – £6,000.
Graham Bell is a qualified dentist based in London. He lives with his wife and daughter, and enjoys blogging in his spare time.