Lower Lingual Arch

The lower lingual arch is a slim, passive brace that makes space for the new teeth during the second dentition. The very last milk tooth at the back is 1-3 mm bigger than its permanent successor. When this milk tooth falls out, it leaves a small, but not insignificant, amount of extra space in this part of the mouth. But this extra space disappears naturally when the 1. Molars break through (the first big grinder/molar).

Big milk teeth and their small successors in the upper jaw

…and in the lower jaw

The Lower Lingual Arch simply delays the early emergence of the 1. molars, so that this extra space can be used to improve the distribution of those teeth that are too close together. The main thing about the LLA is that it can always be relied upon to achieve this result without restricting younger patients in any way. If all children were provided with an LLA at the right time, 70% of them would have enough space in their mouths for all their teeth to be correctly positioned. However, the LLA is not very popular with German orthodontists, because, as a fixed brace, it demands more time with the doctor than would be required in the case of a removable brace which is actually more expensive. So, German children generally have to put up with a removable brace which cannot be relied upon to fulfill its purpose.

Lower Lingual Arch in mouth