By Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer on Feb 16 2018
Keeping your teeth healthy is an important part of your life, and worrying about your family’s oral health is always on your mind. When your orthodontist finally said the words, “Your child needs braces,” you weren’t really surprised. That worry certainly kicked in, though.
But you know you can trust your child’s health to your orthodontist. What you’re really worried about is explaining it to your child. How will braces be received? Will there be push-back? Money is always a concern, though there are great options through your orthodontist’s office.
As you consider these questions, you stumble upon another question you’re surprised you didn’t think of first: what are the best braces for children—specifically, your child? Before you can possibly explain it to your child, you’ll have to understand the options. Here are three of the best braces for children.
1. Traditional Braces
These are the most common and well-known braces available. They are based on the design that has been used in orthodontist procedures for decades, though the technology has gotten better and better. They are made of metal—high-grade stainless steel, to be precise—and straighten teeth through a series of brackets and archwires.
Unlike the vision most people have of braces from the movies, traditional metal braces are more comfortable today than ever before. They usually take the shortest amount of time to complete treatment, can include colourful elastics for a more unique and colourful smile, and will require regular appointments during treatment.
These are the best braces for children if your child is worried about how long the braces will have to be worn.
2. Self-Litigating Braces
These types of braces are very similar to traditional braces, being made of the same materials, but the big difference is that these braces do not use elastics. With no elastics, this means fewer trips to the orthodontist’s office for adjustments and less friction on the tooth (making your child’s experience more comfortable).
Self-litigating braces can be made with traditional metals, as well as ceramic or clear brackets. They are the same size as metal braces but use a clip instead of bands to help the archwire guide teeth into their proper location.
If you find your weeks super busy, these are the best braces for children because of the reduction in the number of regular visits to the orthodontist.
3. Clear (Ceramic) Braces
These braces are made of clear materials and are much less visible than their traditional or self-litigating counterparts. Made of ceramic, they are actually larger than metal or self-litigating types, though their colour makes them much less visible on teeth. They also require much more care to clean and maintain, as the materials are more brittle than metal.
For these reasons, clear/ceramic braces are usually only used on teenagers (who are often more concerned with cosmetics than young children). Still, you can speak to your orthodontist about ceramic braces as an option for your child to find out if they are a suitable option.
There are many potential options for braces that will support your child’s oral health. The best braces for children will depend on the shape, size, and condition of their teeth and mouth. Your orthodontist will be more than happy to explain all the possible options and ensure your child and you select the best option for your circumstances and receive the appropriate orthodontic treatment for your needs. In the end, any option will provide your child with a beautiful, healthy smile that will last well into the future.