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What do Lingual Braces Cost? Learn About Incognito Braces Behind Teeth

Amanda Napitu
Amanda Napitu
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Eyad Tariq
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Azariy Yusupov, DDS
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Lingual braces use brackets hidden behind the teeth, making them nearly undetectable. They are an effective solution for adult braces without the esthetics of traditional orthodontics.

There are many benefits of lingual braces vs traditional braces, but the main drawback is the cost. In this article, we'll explain how lingual appliances work and the different brands available in the US, including Incognito. We'll also answer the question ‘how much do braces cost?‘ in this case lingual braces cost, and how you can lower the cost of your treatment.

You may want to look at the other options for inconspicuous teeth straightening too, for example comparing lingual braces vs Invisalign or other clear aligners. We hope this guide helps you understand more about hidden braces and whether they are right for you or your teen.

What are lingual braces?

The term ‘lingual’ relates to the tongue and the surrounding area. Lingual orthodontic appliances are placed on the back of the teeth, where the tongue rests, meaning they are hidden from plain view. Only if someone opened their mouth very wide would you notice that they were wearing these hidden braces.

Braces on back of teeth
Braces inside your teeth are hard to spot

This makes them ideal for people who want to straighten their teeth inconspicuously. This could be a teen who is worried about bullying or an adult who wants to maintain a professional look at work.

They are also popular for people who have a big day, such as a wedding, coming up. You can get a straighter smile without worrying about having a mouth full of metal in those all-important photos.

Braces on the backside of teeth are very versatile as they can be used to treat a wide range of misalignment and malocclusion problems.

You may hear this type of brace referred to as ‘incognito braces’. Although this is actually a brand name, it has become synonymous with lingual braces in the same way that Invisalign has for invisible teeth braces. We’ll talk more about Incognito lingual braces and other brands later on in this article.

How do they work?

In much the same way as traditional braces, lingual braces use a wire and bracket system to gradually pull teeth into the desired position. Got most types, you’ll need to visit your orthodontist every 6-8 weeks to have braces tightened and adjusted.

Some types of lingual brace use standard brackets, and some are custom-made to fit each specific tooth, like Brius braces.

Ask a dentist: How do you clean lingual braces?

Cleaning your lingual braces is hard. They are positioned closely together, which makes it
easier for the food particles to get stuck.

You can use a water flosser to really get in
between them and clean them.

Dr. Satish Pai, Brite Orthodontics

Custom-made braces can speed up treatment times and give your orthodontist greater control over results. They are also more comfortable to wear as they are typically slimmer than standard brackets. They do, however, come at a higher cost due to the fact that each piece is made to order.

The wires that connect the brackets could also be customized through the use of AI technology. This will be based on the treatment plan designed by your orthodontist.

In this incredible time-lapse video you can see lingual braces before and after from both the inside and outside of the mouth:

Lingual braces pros and cons

We've already mentioned some of the main benefits of lingual braces, namely:

  • Almost invisible brackets
  • Can treat a wide range of cases
  • Faster treatment time possible with custom lingual braces

But there are some significant drawbacks of having braces on inside of teeth to consider as well:

  • Longer appointments due to the precise adjustments and custom archwire needed.
  • Discomfort because of proximity to the tongue. Although patients usually adjust well, tongue ulcerations are common at first.
  • Hard to clean due to the position in the mouth. Cleaning around brace brackets is tricky enough when you can see them!
  • Temporary lingual braces lisp since the brackets interfere with the position of the tongue when talking.

And the lingual braces price… but we'll come to that later. First, let's look at some specific differences between lingual, traditional and invisible braces.

Lingual vs. traditional metal braces

Generally speaking, lingual braces cost more than traditional metal braces. This is especially true for those braces behind your teeth which are custom-made to fit each tooth. In addition to the manufacturing costs, they take longer to adjust at each checkup so you’re paying for more of your dentist’s time during the course of treatment. That's also why not all clinics offer the customized lingual braces system.

Ask a dentist: Can lingual braces fix crooked teeth?

Lingual braces work the same way that metal braces do, except they are fixed to the backs of teeth instead of the front.

While lingual braces are generally successful in orthodontic treatment, while also being discreet, they do present some problems. The biggest issue has to do with the tongue, as it can take a long time for your tongue to get used to the braces, and may result in irritation. 

brace on back of teeth
Find out if these braces are right for you

Eating can be more difficult as well with lingual braces. However, for many, lingual braces are well worth the trouble for both their efficacy and their invisibility.

Dr. Yusupov, Amazing Smiles Orthodontics

There is one further benefit of lingual appliances: any damage to the teeth is less visible than with traditional braces. It's possible for fixed braces to leave some plaque residue or white spots (decalcification) on the teeth due to poor oral hygiene. If this does occur while you're wearing braces on the back of your teeth, at least the damage won't be obvious.

Lingual braces aren't usually the first option for kids' braces, but teens and even older children can wear them, provided their teeth are large enough to affix the brackets to.

Lingual braces vs. invisible braces

If you’re keen to have braces that aren’t immediately noticeable, your two main choices are hidden braces and invisible braces like Invisalign and Candid.

Invisible braces are a totally different way to straighten teeth without using any wires or brackets. Instead, they use a series of clear plastic aligners to gently guide the teeth into the desired position. You can read more about lingual braces vs Invisalign here.

lingual braces vs invisalign
Clear aligners are also less noticeable

Although called “invisible”, you actually can spot people wearing them if you know what to look for. Braces on the back of teeth, however, are designed to be completely hidden unless you open your mouth very wide.

There are a number of benefits to Invisalign which make them a good alternative to lingual braces:

  • The aligners are removable so it's much easier to clean your teeth and braces.
  • There are fewer restrictions on what you can eat or drink (as long as you clean your teeth before replacing them). Note that your teeth will be sore during the treatment, so biting hard food may be difficult.
  • There are no metal parts that may hurt your tongue or cause mouth sores. However, the edges of the aligners could cut your cheeks or tongue.
  • Invisalign is generally cheaper than lingual braces, and at-home options like Candid and ALIGNERCO are considerably cheaper.

At-home treatments provide mild to moderate straightening, while in-office clear aligners like Invisalign are suitable for 90% of cases. If you have very severe malocclusion, though, you may need fixed braces.

There are various brands that offer home teeth straightening treatment, but they don't all provide the same level of care and service to their customers. Have a look at some of the top brands available and see which would best suit your needs:

Clear aligners are even more discreet than lingual braces
Lingual braces are hard to see, but clear aligners are even more invisible. There are many companies offering remote teeth straightening with aligners, so have a look at our top picks and discover why we recommend these over any others.
  • Hybrid in-office and remote treatment
  • In-person visits with your orthodontist for safe, effective treatment
  • Treats even complex cases of misalignment
  • Various pricing options
Schedule your appointment!
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Discover the flexibility and effectiveness of Impress Invisible Braces, the hybrid orthodontic solution that blends in-person care with the convenience of remote appointments. Suitable for both kids and adults, Impress offers a range of treatment options designed to cater to various needs, from mild to severe cases of misalignment. With the initial consultation happening in person, you're assured of a tailored treatment plan that can address even the most complex orthodontic issues.

Impress Treatment Plans:

  • Impress Super Light ($6,999): Perfect for mild cases, this plan promises results in up to 3 months, making it the quickest route to a better smile.
  • Impress ($4,599): Designed for moderate cases, this option aims to perfect your smile within 4-10 months.
  • Impress Plus ($5,599): Tailored for moderate cases requiring a bit more time, this plan spans 11-14 months.
  • Impress Advanced ($6,999): The go-to choice for complex cases, offering comprehensive treatment over 11-24 months.
  • Teens ($4,599): Specifically designed for teenagers, this plan addresses mild cases within 4-10 months, ensuring a confident smile during those crucial years.
  • Impress Kids ($4,599): Offering orthodontic treatment for children, this plan covers a period between 8-18 months, setting the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

With flexible payment plans available, starting your journey to a perfect smile has never been easier or more accessible. Whether you're looking for a quick fix or need extensive treatment, Impress Invisible Braces provide a tailored solution that meets your needs and budget. Click below to get started!

Find out if you're a candidate!
  • 3-4 month average treatment time
  • Assessed and planned by orthodontists
  • Includes whitening and first retainers
  • $1,999 or $70/month
Get faster treatment
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Byte's HyperByte technology uses High Frequency Vibration to help your teeth move faster and with minimal discomfort. Their average treatment time is just 3-4 months, compared to 6 months for most others.

Treatment includes your first set of retainers. You'll also get their BrightByte 3-in-1 foam to whiten your teeth, clean your aligners and freshen your breath. And their Byte-for-life guarantee means you'll get free adjustments if your teeth start to move again.

Begin by ordering an impression kit so their orthodontists can assess whether you're a good match.

Get 80% off with code SMILEBRYTE
  • Complete treatment 100% remotely
  • Amazing customer service
  • Nighttime-only option
  • $1,495 or $55/month
Get NewSmile aligners
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NewSmile aligners are made from the clearest Essix plastic and come with a daytime or nighttime-only option to suit you. For just $1,495 you'll receive everything you need to straighten and whiten your teeth – and maintain your new smile:

  • Home impression kit
  • Full aligner treatment
  • Free whitening
  • First set of retainers
  • A full refund if you're not a good fit

NewSmile goes above and beyond to provide a great experience to all their customers, beginning with a live video call to help you with your teeth impressions. Mail these back, and they'll send a 3D Treatment Preview for you to approve before going ahead.

Alternatively, click here for an extra $20 off an impression kit!
  • Smileie Pro offers hybrid treatment!
  • Single-arch treatment option
  • Nighttime aligners available
  • Free refinements & 2 sets of retainers
  • $699 (single-arch) or $999 (dual-arch)
Check Smileie's offers
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Smileie's aligner treatment is not only affordable, but flexible too. You have the option of Smileie Pro, which is hybrid treatment that involves in-office visits with a dentist.

That means more accurate, safer and effective treatment or a wider variety of cases.

But you can also opt for single-arch treatment for just your top or bottom teeth, as well as nighttime-only treatment. And whichever package you choose, monthly payments are available.

On top of this, Smileie offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee which includes free refinements if needed. Their aligners are made in the US and treatment takes 4-6 months on average.

Get Smileie Pro for just $1499, or —

Get the best discount on the standard plan, with 100% remote treatment, when you purchase your aligner package up-front, including:

  • Home impression kit
  • Teeth whitening kit
  • Two sets of retainers
  • A full refund if you're not a good candidate

Packages start at $699 for single-arch treatment. Click below to check for current discounts!

Get the lowest price on hybrid treatment with Smileie Pro
  • Complete treatment 100% remotely
  • 4-6 month average treatment time
  • Nighttime-only option
  • $949 or $77/month
Get this deal
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If you're looking for the best value aligner package, here it is! For just $895 you'll get:

  • Impression kit
  • Full aligner treatment course
  • Free teeth whitening kit
  • Your first set of retainers

In short, everything needed to straighten your teeth remotely and keep them looking great, with a full money-back guarantee if you're not a suitable candidate.

This low price doesn't mean you're compromising on quality of care, though. ALIGNERCO just choose not to put so much into marketing, and they pass on the savings to their customers. They are also known for their responsive and helpful customer care, which is important when you're doing things from home.

Plus, if you're in New York, you can visit their SmileStudio for a free consultation and help taking your impressions.

Nighttime-only aligners are also available for anyone who doesn't want to wear aligners during the day.

  • Complete treatment 100% remotely
  • Single or dual-arch treatment
  • Nighttime-only option
  • Just $849 (single-arch) or $1149 (dual-arch)
Get the best price!
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Caspersmile aligners offer the most affordable way to correct minor dental misalignment invisibly and without any discomfort. Their single-arch treatment costs just $849. This price includes everything you need, including:

  • Impression kit
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Clear aligners
  • 1st set of retainers
  • Teeth whitening kit
  • Caspersmile guarantee

Caspersmile offers great customer service too — with unlimited video consultations with your Smile Specialist, the liaison to the Caspersmile dentist in charge of your case.

Begin your teeth straightening journey by taking a free Smile Assessment today.

If you're interested in clear aligners but you're not sure which brand, you can begin by just taking a quick Smile Assessment to see if you're eligible. This tool is free to use and only takes 30 seconds to complete.

Braces comparison

In-office treatments like Invisalign are generally a little cheaper than lingual braces, but the most affordable option is a company like Candid where an orthodontist monitors your treatment remotely rather than you having to visit an office for checkups.

You may also consider clear bracket braces which, although noticeable close-up, are more subtle than traditional metal braces. They are usually more affordable than behind-teeth braces, offering a balance between cost, effectiveness, and appearance.

Here is an easy-reference comparison table for the three types of brace described above: traditional, lingual, and invisible.

Type of braces


In-office invisible aligner

At-home clear aligner

Traditional metal

Estimated cost



Around $2,000

$2,500 - $7,000


Hidden behind teeth; almost unnoticeable

Hard to notice; can be removed

Hard to notice; can be removed

Very obvious

Suitable for

All cases

90% of cases

Mild to moderate cases

All cases

Typical treatment length

14-20 months

12-20 months

6 months

14-20 months

Appointment frequency

8-12 weeks

8-12 weeks


6-8 weeks

Appointment duration

45 minutes

20 minutes


20 minutes


Require special effort to clean properly

Can be removed to clean; teeth cleaned as normal

Can be removed to clean; teeth cleaned as normal

Require special effort to clean properly

Types of lingual brace

Once you have decided this is the type of brace you want, you’ll need to choose between different brands and styles.

Incognito braces

braces hidden behind teeth
Incognito behind teeth braces use a gold alloy

The brand Incognito manufactures its braces in Germany using advanced computer design technology. Each bracket is molded to fit a specific tooth and is made as flat as possible. This means there is less chance of the braces interfering with speech or causing inflammation in the mouth.

Incognito lingual braces are made from a gold alloy which heavily reduces the chances of an allergic reaction.

Incognito braces cost as much as five figures. Other brands are available for less but each has its advantages and disadvantages.

The parent company, 3M, also manufactures Incognito Lite braces. These are a more cost-effective solution for patients who only need to have their front six or eight teeth straightened – they are around half the price of a full set.

If you want to see some Incognito braces before and after pics, the following video is a really cool montage of photos from one patient's entire treatment journey.


Inbrace is another brand of braces on the back of your teeth. They align your teeth using their signature Smartwire, which moves teeth by itself using AI algorithms, and can treat everything from spacing to crowding to bite.

The Smartwire is customized to your mouth and uses gentle pressure to slowly and continuously move your teeth into an aligned position. One big benefit of Inbrace is that you can floss your teeth without the need for threaders, so maintining your oral health is easier during the process.

The cost of Inbrace is comparable to the cost of Invisalign, which can be anywhere from $3,500 to $8,500.

Self-ligating lingual systems

Hidden brace wearers can take advantage of self-ligating technology with wire that automatically adjusts itself gradually. This leads to a more comfortable experience when compared to the traditional method of tightening every few weeks.

STb Light Lingual System, produced by Ormco (the company that makes Damon braces), is one of the self-ligating options available.

brace bracket lingual
These brackets are very slim but not custom-made

Non-custom systems

For patients who want the discreetness of hidden braces but can’t afford the high price tag of custom-made brands, there are options like Forestadent braces. This system is made in Germany from standardized parts and claims to be “the flattest lingual bracket in the world”. The brackets are fixed directly behind the teeth without any expensive laboratory customization.

This cheaper style of lingual brace is best suited to patients with mild crookedness. For more complex orthodontic work, a custom-made brand will be more effective.

How much do lingual braces cost?

In straightforward cases with a standard brand, lingual braces cost around $5,000 whereas more complex treatment with a custom-made brand of braces on inside of teeth cost as much as $13,000.

Not every orthodontist is trained to carry out treatment with lingual appliances. It's usually a specialist area, and this means you're paying more for the cost of lingual braces because of the expertise required. And remember, with bespoke braces you're paying for the time and effort involved with shaping them to fit your teeth perfectly.

As with any kind of dental treatment, lingual brace prices can also vary greatly from one area to another. The prices that orthodontists charge usually correspond with the cost of living and running a business in that location. Therefore, lingual braces in big cities may cost more than in other parts of the country where rents, etc. are lower.

It’s worth looking beyond your local orthodontic clinic as you research the price of lingual braces near you. Driving a little further could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of your treatment. Do also consider that you will need regular checkups during your lingual orthodontic treatment, so you must factor in the cost and time involved with each trip to your chosen clinic.

When obtaining quotes, also check what level of aftercare is included in the price. This may or may not include follow-up visits and teeth retainers, which are needed to keep your teeth in their new position.

Ways to save money on hidden braces

Aside from shopping around in your local area, there are other ways you may be able to save money on your braces.

braces inside mouth
A cheaper alternative to custom lingual appliances
  • Mix and match: Consider getting lingual braces placed on your top arch but traditional metal braces or clear braces on the lower arch since bottom teeth are less visible when you smile.
  • Consider a cheaper alternative like clear aligners: These fit over your teeth and are almost invisible. They have a number of benefits over lingual braces, as we outlined earlier, but in particular, the lower cost makes them an appealing option.
  • Research different brands: We mentioned some of the better-known brands earlier, but other lesser-known brands may turn out to be more affordable. Ask different dentists which brand(s) they recommend, and why.
  • Spread the cost: Ask orthodontists whether they offer payment plans that let you spread the cost of treatment. Although this won’t save you any money, it can make braces more affordable. Make sure you get a 0% interest plan, otherwise you’ll end up paying a lot more.
  • Insurance plans: If you have dental insurance, it's worth checking whether your plan will cover part of the cost of orthodontic treatment. Basic plans usually only cover essential dental work, but some of the best dental insurance plans may allow to claim back some of the cost of your braces.

Getting fitted with braces behind teeth

Now let's look at what's actually involved with getting these braces fitted.

The first thing your orthodontist will do is create an impression of your teeth. This is usually done using a dental mold.

braces inside teeth
Standardized brackets should be ready to fit sooner

For braces that are being custom-made, your dental digital model or impressions are sent away to a laboratory where your braces are created. This process typically takes around six weeks, and then they are ready to be fitted.

Your orthodontist uses a dental cement to securely affix each brace bracket to the correct tooth. Since fitting behind the teeth braces is quite a fiddly process, it might be spread over two visits. Ask your dentist what to expect.

You'll have regular checkups every eight to twelve weeks. At these checkups, your orthodontist will check the progress of your treatment against the expected results. He or she will then make adjustments to the wire connecting your brace brackets. The continued tension on your teeth keeps them moving in the right direction.

Because hidden braces allow you a clear view of your teeth, you'll be able to notice results more quickly – often within just a few weeks of beginning treatment.

It's normal for patients to experience some discomfort when they first get braces fitted behind their teeth, but most adjust quickly. Orthodontic wax can be used to cover any parts which are irritating the tongue and paracetamol should relieve any achiness after initial fitting and subsequent adjustments.

Some patients develop a lisp after their braces are fitted but this usually disappears after a few days.

Most treatments with behind-the-teeth braces take 12-18 months, although for less complex cases it may be as quick as six months while some cases can take several years.

Lingual braces review

There are plenty of reviews of lingual braces available to read on online forums. You can also view endless video reviews on YouTube, which should give you a good idea of what to expect.

Here is one user sharing her experience with lingual braces – she has traditional metal braces on her bottom jaw so she is able to provide a good comparison of the two types.

Another reviewer reports how using orthodontic wax helped immensely with easing tongue pain at this stage. She also describes how she had a meeting with her boss, who didn't seem to notice anything different. On the second morning, she found the aching worst than the first, and she was only managing to eat soup, yogurt, and smoothies. You can follow her progress in her other videos.

In a later review, she gives some tips for managing with lingual braces. She recommends you keep on hand:

  • An electric toothbrush with a special orthodontic head
  • Orthodontic wax and tissues to dry your mouth before applying it
  • Interdental brushes
  • Mouthwash and breath freshener
  • Straws
  • Water flosser

Finally, if you want some honest lingual brace reviews, try asking around your friends and colleagues. Since these braces are so inconspicuous, someone you know may have had them without you even realizing it!

Ask a dentist: Can adults get lingual braces?

Lingual braces are a tooth straightening method commonly used for adults with gaps,
protruding teeth, crowding, and other dental problems. Anyone can get lingual braces.

They are especially great for adults who are too embarrassed to have traditional metal braces
since these are placed behind your teeth.

Dr. Satish Pai, Brite Orthodontics

Lingual braces near me

Wondering where you can find lingual braces in your area? It's easy to find out! Just call 866-383-0748 and you'll be connected with a lingual braces orthodontist with offices near you. All you need to do is make an appointment for a consultation, and get excited to start your journey.


Lingual braces consist of brackets fitted to the back of teeth, next to the tongue, connected by a wire. The main reason people choose these braces is so that nobody else knows they are wearing them. While they are an effective way to straighten teeth they are also fairly costly – particularly if you opt for a custom-made variety – and can be quite uncomfortable during the adjustment period, normally for the first three to four weeks of wear.

If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to lingual braces which is still almost impossible to detect, consider Invisalign, or an even more affordable option, like Candid or ALIGNERCO.

Getting lingual orthodontics or any other kind of braces is a big decision. We hope this article has helped you make up your mind about what's right for you. And if you need help finding a lingual braces provider near you, you can call 866-383-0748.


What are lingual braces?

Lingual braces feature brackets that are glued to the backs of your teeth or the ‘lingual' side. This hidden placement means that they are only visible if you open your mouth widely. Just like regular braces, lingual braces use wires to gradually align teeth.

Are lingual braces better than Invisalign?

One is not necessarily better than the other. However, lingual braces can treat more complex cases than Invisalign, meaning you can still get discreet malocclusion treatment.

What do Lingual Braces Cost? Learn About Incognito Braces Behind Teeth
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National Center for Biotechnology Information: Comparison of speech performance in labial and lingual orthodontic patients: A prospective study. Consulted 15th October 2020.