With so many new options now available to treat orthodontic problems, it’s no wonder you (and every other parent) might be feeling a little overwhelmed. There are four common treatments used by orthodontists for patients of all ages. As you will see, each has its pros and cons, but there’s no hiding the fact that traditional metal braces are still the best option for kids.
Here are the treatment options available:
Ceramic Braces: A Popular Choice for Adults
Ceramic braces are often favoured by adults as they’re less noticeable than standard metal braces, with clear or tooth-coloured brackets and optional tooth-coloured wires. For those children or teenagers who feel particularly self-conscious about metal braces, ceramic braces might be a good option – they work as well as braces, and are less noticeable, however they do cost a little more than traditional metal braces.
Lingual Braces: Because No One Will Know
Lingual braces are truly invisible – these custom-made braces are attached to the inside surfaces of your teeth, instead of the front. Lingual braces are 100% personalised to follow the individual contours of your teeth, ensuring they are as comfortable and effective as possible. However, because lingual braces are located near the tongue, they can take some time to get used to wearing and will temporarily impact on speech and eating more than regular braces. It’s very rare to see lingual braces on children, in fact the majority of lingual brace wearers are adults who require a truly invisible option.
Clear Aligners (eg Invisalign or ClearCorrect): Require Discipline
A sequence of clear plastic aligners can provide an alternative to fixed braces for less severe orthodontic problems. Clear aligners are removable and virtually invisible, but in most cases are less suitable for children as their design is such that they can only move teeth efficiently in a fully developed adult dentition. Furthermore, if aligners are not worn responsibly or are removed from the mouth too often, the treatment will not work. Fixed braces, on the other hand, eliminate any temptation to be removed and are almost guaranteed to produce excellent treatment results.
Metal Braces: Tried, Tested and Terrific for Kids
In an age of far and wide orthodontic options, traditional metal braces are still the most common treatment option for kids and teens. With this type of treatment, very small metal brackets are glued to the teeth and are then connected with a thin wire, which is adjusted or changed at regular intervals to gradually straighten your teeth and correct your bite - making them a very effective and reliable treatment option.
Modern metal braces are much smaller and more comfortable than ever before. You’ll often see metal braces jazzed up with colourful elastic modules to make them fun and fashionable for your kids! Although dependent on each case, traditional metal braces are generally the most cost effective option compared to other orthodontic treatments.
Whether you’re considering traditional braces or an alternative to braces, only an orthodontist has the training, experience and expert knowledge to be able to offer you the full suite of treatment options and give you and your child the confidence that you’re in the best hands.