Are you noticing gaps between your child’s teeth? Gaps or crooked teeth could lead to oral health problems later. Your child’s risk of cavities and gum disease could increase if you delay treatment.

Before that happens, talk to your child’s orthodontist about braces for kids. Treatment can straighten their teeth, benefiting their oral health.

Read on to discover the best braces for kids today!

Traditional Metal Braces

About four million people younger than 18 are wearing braces. Most kids get braces between the ages of 11 and 14. When most people discuss dental braces for kids, they’re picturing traditional metal braces.

Metal brackets can straighten your child’s teeth using archwires, elastic bands, and metal brackets. The brackets stay attached to their teeth using dental glue.

The archwires apply gentle pressure to your child’s teeth over time to help them move into the right position.

Traditional metal braces are ideal for fixing a range of alignment issues. They give your child’s orthodontist control to correct your child’s smile. Dental braces for kids are more effective than other treatment options.

They can straighten your child’s teeth quickly, which can improve their self-confidence and oral health. Traditional braces are also a cost-effective treatment option. They’re ideal for families on a budget.

Since they’re made of metal, traditional braces are less likely to pop or break. Your child also can’t take them off alone, which can help them avoid delaying their treatment.

Most of the disadvantages of wearing metal braces are management. For example, your child will need to avoid certain foods, including:

  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Corn chips
  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • Sticky and hard candy
  • Gum
  • Hard cookies or crackers
  • Sticky or hard chocolate
  • Hard, uncooked vegetables

Traditional metal braces use rubber bands. They’ll need to be changed every four to six weeks. Your child can choose fun colors based on their preferences.

Partial Braces

If your child doesn’t require a full set of braces, your orthodontist may recommend partial braces instead. These braces involve brackets and wires. However, they don’t cover all your child’s teeth.

These dental braces can target specific problem areas.

Mini Braces

Mini braces involve the same wires and brackets used for traditional metal braces. However, this option involves less metal. Mini braces are also, as the name suggests, smaller than regular braces.

Schedule a consultation appointment with your child’s orthodontist. They can determine if your child requires early treatment for braces.

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces can straighten your child’s teeth the same way traditional braces can. They work without rubber bands. These braces will hold archwires to the brackets using small metal clips.

One of the main benefits of self-ligating braces is that they straighten teeth faster than traditional metal braces.

Your child’s teeth must slide along the archwires in response to pressure to move into the correct positions. Rubber bands keep their braces secure. They create friction, which will inhibit movement.

Without rubber bands, your child’s teeth can move with less friction. Treatment is faster and requires fewer appointments as a result.

Like traditional metal braces, self-ligating braces are durable and strong. Your child is unlikely to damage them during normal activities. However, your child will need to follow the same food restrictions.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces. With these braces, the wires and brackets are applied to the inside of your child’s teeth. They’re less common than other dental braces for kids.

The advantage of these braces is they’re not visible from the outside. However, they’re more expensive than other treatment options. They’re also less effective when treating more severe cases.

Your child may struggle to maintain optimal oral hygiene if the braces are located behind their teeth. It’s also more difficult for orthodontists to adjust these braces, meaning treatments require more time.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces use clear brackets instead of metal brackets. They’re ideal for patients who want to keep braces from affecting their appearance.

The brackets, though less noticeable, are larger than those used in traditional treatments. They could cause your child additional discomfort.

Since they’re not made from metal, these braces are also more fragile. Your child could potentially break them while chewing or playing.

Clear Aligners

Invisalign is a brand of clear braces for kids, teens, and adults. It allows orthodontists to straighten smiles without metal wires or brackets. Instead, Invisalign uses clear, plastic aligners that fit over the patient’s teeth.

Invisalign aligners are custom-made. Your child’s orthodontist will use a high-tech scanner to create a virtual impression of their teeth. Every two weeks, your child will switch to a new set of aligners.

The aligners will gradually bring their teeth closer together over time.

Invisalign can fix a variety of dental issues. However, they’re not ideal for more severe cases.

Unlike other treatment options, these clear “braces” for kids are removable. Your child will take them out to brush, floss, and eat. They shouldn’t eat or drink beverages, besides water, while wearing their aligners.

Otherwise, it could warp or damage the plastic. Your child won’t have to worry about food restrictions.

Friends and family members won’t realize your child is wearing their aligners. The clear plastic is more discreet than other braces. They are also durable and more comfortable than metal braces, which can ease some discomfort for your child.

Invisalign isn’t ideal for younger children. Patients need to have enough maturity to put their aligners back in after meals. They need to wear their aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day to avoid delaying their treatment.

Choose the Best Braces for Kids Today

If you’re interested in braces for kids, talk to your child’s orthodontist. They can determine the best option based on your child’s needs. The best braces for kids can vary based on each patient’s alignment issues.

Our team at Parrott Orthodontics is committed to offering exceptional care. We create beautiful, healthy smiles for our patients using personalized treatments and state-of-the-art technology. We can help transform your child’s smile and oral health.

Schedule your child’s appointment today at Parrott Orthodontics! Take the first step toward their brightest, most beautiful smile today.