With the birth of the royal baby monopolising recent headlines, the proud parents have more reason to show off their perfect smiles than ever before. After his traditional braces as a teenager, Prince William is known to have had continued orthodontic treatment into adulthood, but it is Kate’s beautiful smile that is really attracting attention. Rumoured to have been wearing lingual braces since her engagement, the Duchess of Cambridge has discreet dental technology to thank for her royal smile.
Many adults still aren’t aware that fixed braces no longer mean visible metal wires and brackets. Developed over 30 years ago, lingual braces are now the latest trend, ironically making them an invisible fashion accessory. With no one knowing about your orthodontic treatment save you and the orthodontist, cosmetic dentistry has made a real breakthrough.
Lingual Braces Fit on the Backs of Your Teeth
Lingual braces fit the inside surface of your teeth, meaning you can feel them with your tongue but they are invisible to everyone else. Personally designed from putty moulds of your teeth, lingual brackets are attached to the rear of teeth with a special dental glue and are connected by a metal wire. This metal wire has within it the memory of a perfect arch and pulls misaligned teeth into this desired formation.
Just like traditional braces (or train-tracks), lingual brace treatment takes a varying length of time depending on the complexity of the case and requires monthly visits until completion. Though the sessions may be pricier and take a little longer, as dealing with the back surface of teeth can prove fiddly, lingual braces are the treatment of choice for actors, adults who regularly work with the public, and anyone who is put off regular braces because of the appearance.
Lingual Braces are Healthier for Your Teeth
Interestingly, one of the most advantageous things about lingual braces is often overlooked. The British Lingual Orthodontic Society (BLOS) claims that lingual braces are actually healthier for teeth: a study carried out in recent years demonstrated that lingual braces are five times less likely to degrade the mineral composition of teeth than traditional, train-track braces. Furthermore, because the brackets themselves are constructed from thin gold and are custom made (as opposed to the generic brackets used for regular fixed braces), results are arguably more accurate.
Although it was developed a number of decades ago, lingual brace popularity has only climbed dramatically in the past ten years; this recent increase in recognition was celebrated by the team at BLOS. Founded just over a decade ago, the British Lingual Orthodontic Society began as a group of only eight orthodontists. Now 150 members strong, BLOS has every reason to celebrate into their second decade through the demonstration of the newest state-of-the-art lingual systems.
Incognito, one of the most popular brands of lingual braces, won a Red Dot design award last year for its Incognito Lite system. The prestigious award was readily given to the new technology that provides a discreet way to straighten only a handful of front teeth, rather than a whole arch.
Having already solved the problem of orthodontic aesthetics, timescale seems to be the next barrier to overcome before a quick, invisible system can be developed. Now on the market, AcceleDent Aura is a vibrating mouthpiece claiming to halve the time needed for orthodontic treatment. AcceleDent can accompany any form of orthodontics and requires only twenty minutes of application a day, in adjunct with your choice of orthodontic appliance. Using SoftPulse technology, the AcceleDent claims to even ease the discomfort of orthodontics, paving the way for a future of fast, invisible, pain-free braces.