Different types of orthodontic treatment plans are used for dental issues such as overcrowding, misalignment and incorrect spacing and to improve both the appearance and functionality of teeth. There are many more options to choose from than what was available a few decades ago, with each option suited for different applications. If your kid needs braces, you should know what is available on the market so you can select the best option for them.
Metal braces, also known as conventional braces, are perhaps the most recognizable braces that kids, teens, and adults can get. These braces used to be large and bulky, but they have become better and less conspicuous as orthodontic specialists have continued to improve them.
The dentist attaches the braces to the teeth and then connects these braces using a piece of wire. The wire is connected to the braces using elastic ties that are responsible for applying the pressure that pulls and pushes the teeth into position.
The orthodontist also makes adjustments to the braces every month or two to ensure the best results. Metal braces can be a great option for parents who do not want to remind their kids to wear their braces after a meal or brushing. They are also less reliant on patient compliance for the same reason.
Parents have to weigh these advantages over the potential of poor oral health, especially in younger kids who might not have mastered how to take care of their oral health properly yet.
Clear braces have become very popular in the last decade or so because they are virtually invisible when worn right. Even though they are used by patients who have previously had braces to correct certain issues, they are also very useful for issues like misalignment, large overbites, jaw alignment issues, and open bites. They can also be used in kids who have teeth and jaw alignment issues caused by thumb sucking and pacifier overuse.
Apart from being clear, these braces are different from metal ones in that one can remove them easily to brush their teeth or eat without the aligners getting in the way.
Because of this, they might lead to better oral health than metal braces which can make brushing and flossing much harder. There are additional differences between clear aligners and metal braces, and this guide from ALIGNERCO does a great job of explaining them.
Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth to help align and correct tooth position. They are a specialized option which makes them rarer than other brace options. They also require special skills, or you might have to find a dentist who specializes in them if you want them for your kids.
Lingual braces are completely invisible because they are applied behind the teeth, they can be customized to work on specific teeth, and they provide better versatility and efficiency in select patients. Their properties make them well suited to adults who have complex orthodontic needs but want full invisibility, or teens and adolescents who are more conscious about their looks.
One thing you should know is that their position and installation can cause changes to your speech. Developing a lisp and some irritation to the tongue is very common. However, these issues go away once your mouth gets used to the braces.
These work similarly to metal and ceramic braces, but with one key difference. Whereas elastic bands are used to connect the wire to the braces in traditional metal braces, self-ligating braces use clips or doors to hold them in place.
The two types of self-ligating braces are active and passive braces. Passive braces have a sliding clip mechanism that puts pressure on the arch wire so that it keeps providing tension to move the teeth. A passive brace has a sliding mechanism that does not apply this pressure. These passive options are great for keeping the teeth in place, especially in cases where the patient or orthodontist does not want movement.
These braces lead to much shorter appointment times because they are easy to adjust. They are also a great option for patients who cannot sit for long periods, are sensitive to discomfort caused by other types of braces and have orthodontic needs stemming from developmental delays.
These are made out of a clear material that is made to match the colors of the teeth. They work similarly to metal braces but are less conspicuous and discreet. These braces are a popular option for those considering either metal or clear braces, but who want complete secretion and affordability. For these reasons, ceramic braces are typically requested by adolescents and adults. Although they are less noticeable than metal braces, they are slightly larger and can stain depending on brushing habits and the patient’s diet.
Each of these options works well depending on the age of your kids and their orthodontic needs. Knowing about them should help you pick the best ones for your kids.