Lingual orthodontics: Myths and truths about it

If we had to divide the types of orthodontics by their appearance, we would say that there are three: traditional orthodontics, aesthetic and invisible. Inside the first one are the metal brackets of a lifetime. In the second we find ceramic and sapphire orthodontics. Finally, there are two invisible orthodontics: the Invisalign technique and lingual orthodontics.

Today we want to talk about the latter to clarify some myths and truths about it.

What is lingual orthodontics?

It is a traditional orthodontic treatment, but braces are placed on the inside of the tooth, rather than on the outside. That’s why we talk about lingual orthodontics as invisible orthodontics. It always will be unless someone wants to look inside our mouth.

Why is lingual orthodontics a good option?

First, lingual orthodontics, like other orthodontic treatments, has to be suggested by the specialist. Imagine you have a rotated tooth and want to use Invisalign. As much as you want, this type of treatment does not solve dental rotations and should be discarded.

Lingual orthodontics is an excellent option, for example, for people who work with your image. Journalists, actors, singers, etc., tend to prefer it because it is the least seen. In addition, it corrects practically the same dental problems as classical orthodontics, so it combines two essential aspects to prefer it.

How long does a tongue brace last?

Although each patient will have a problem with a different duration, it is estimated that the average lingual orthodontic treatment is about two years. We insist: There will be those who have solved their problem in a year and those who need more time. But, to make a comparison, it could be halfway between traditional orthodontics and Invisalign.

With orthodontics, the rush is not good

But here it’s important to make a point. You don’t have to run with braces. It’s much better for your teeth to move slowly. You don’t value one technique or another for speed. In the end, whatever you use, the important thing is the end result. This is a background race!

How does lingual orthodontics work?

It’s essentially the same system as traditional orthodontics. These are the parts of lingual orthodontics:


They are the two sections of wire that surround each of the rows of teeth. In traditional orthodontics we find them crossing our dentures from side to side. In lingual orthodontics they are not seen because they are located on the inner face.


The brackets are each of the metal feet that are placed on the teeth. They are responsible for bringing the strength of the bow to each tooth. Each bracket has a slot, which is where the arch passes.


They fix the bow to the tooth. If you’ve fixed it on a classic orthodontic brace, it’s those gummies, sometimes colored, that surround the brace. As they are placed, they transmit the force that will move the teeth to correct their position.

What problems does lingual orthodontics correct?

In essence, most problems corrected by traditional orthodontics are corrected by lingual orthodontics. Among them:

  1. Correct the position of teeth and bones that are displaced from where they should be.
  2. Consequently, it solves the problems of bite (overbite, cross bite, open bite…).
  3. Problems of dental space (diastema and crowding).

Advantages and disadvantages of lingual orthodontics


-The most obvious is aesthetics, of course. We managed to solve our dental problems without anyone seeing it.

-Functionality. We managed to solve the same problems as with traditional orthodontics (the one with the most spectrum of solutions).


-It may be more uncomfortable the first few days. Indeed, some patients may feel more annoyed, as the metal elements touch the tongue. Of course, all patients usually get used to it in a period of no more than two weeks. In general, in a few days they stop noticing it.

-The accessibility of the orthodontist is more complex than with other systems, so visits are usually somewhat longer.

-You may not find it in every clinic, as its placement requires specific training that not all specialists have. At Gross Dentists, our orthodontist, Concha Gross, has extensive training in lingual orthodontics.

What is said about lingual orthodontics: True or false?

«My orthodontist does not recommend lingual orthodontics»

And here, potential patients have different reasons: «It says that it is not so functional, that it is not worth it, that…». This specialist will most likely not have the right preparation. As a result, he will not recommend a treatment he or she cannot handle. However, lingual orthodontics is as functional as classical orthodontics. As a method, it is flawless.

«I am told that dental hygiene can suffer»

Any fixed orthodontic treatment requires great care in hygiene. Let us think that we are cleaning our teeth with a fixed apparatus that makes it difficult to reach all corners. This does not mean that oral hygiene is worse. It simply means that we have to be more thorough in cleaning our mouth.

«It’s much more expensive»

It’s a half-truth. Visits can get expensive because they take longer than those of classic orthodontics. It is more difficult to adjust and repair, and the specialist will need more minutes. It also happens when placing it for the first time. These processes make it more expensive, but only a little.

«If I take off a bracket one weekend, I will have to wait and it is very annoying»

One of the problems alleged by future orthodontic patients is the issue of emergencies. A sore or a loose bracket on a Friday night can ruin the weekend. Fortunately, this is not the case for Gross Dentists. We treat our patients 365 days a week and 24 hours a day. Any emergency is solved immediately.

«I won’t be able to eat everything»

True. But no truer than with any other type of fixed brace. We must avoid those foods that stick easily to the teeth. Also those that are particularly hard. Needless to say, we must forget about chewing gum and various treats. Poultry, fish, cooked vegetables… should be the basis of our orthodontic diet. And, by the way, of our daily lives, since they are also very healthy foods.

Ask us without commitment about lingual orthodontics

If you still have any questions about lingual orthodontics, we will be happy to assist you in our consultation.

Ask for your appointment!

Dr. J.L. Gross de Bethencourt

Especialista en implantología y técnica All-on-4. Amplia experiencia en la realización de implantes dentales y otros tratamientos dentales.

Dr. Jose Luis Gross de Bethencourt en TopDoctors.

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