One of Kidsmile’s goals is to produce healthier smiles for your children and now we are going to check out your options, as parents, in helping them have their best smiles again. Traditional metal braces are a great fit for many patients, but new alternatives like ceramic braces and clear aligners are giving traditional metal braces some serious competition. For many patients, the choice for straight teeth comes down to cost, appearance, and the level of maintenance needed to achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.
First, let’s discuss how braces work.
Orthodontic treatment, whether it is done with braces or clear aligners, is accomplished by putting pressure on the teeth to move them into a new position. In the case of traditional braces, brackets are bonded to the tooth surface. An arch-wire is then placed that puts pressure on the teeth. That wire is kept in place by small, often colorful ties. Patients need to see their orthodontist every six to eight weeks to have the wire adjusted and new ties placed.
Traditional braces have progressed since the early days and are now lighter in weight and structure than they used to be. They are made from high-grade stainless steel and have metal brackets that are attached to each tooth using a type of cement. The brackets are linked to each other with a thin arch wire, which puts pressure on the teeth to cause them to move slowly into the correct position.
The arch-wires are connected to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures or o-rings, which your orthodontist will change each time he tightens the braces. Some types of braces have brackets that don’t need o rings, and these are called self-ligating braces.
These work in the same way as traditional braces, but the brackets are made from a clear, transparent ceramic material. The braces are less visible to others, which makes them a popular choice for adults who need orthodontic treatment.
Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth.
Aligners are thin, clear trays made to fit your teeth. Unlike metal braces, aligners are removable. The patient is responsible for putting them in and taking them out. Patients receive sets of aligners designed to move their teeth using the same method as braces: constant, gentle pressure.
Let us help you choose the right orthodontic treatment for your child.
With all these vast options for your child’s straighter teeth journey, it is always best to consult your pediatric dentist for the best treatment plan.