When you are looking into braces for yourself or your child, you may wonder how many different kinds of braces are available. Fortunately, there are several options. The best option for you or your child depends on you or your child’s unique needs, goals, desires, and finances.
At Markham Orthodontics, Dr. David Markham can help you with whatever orthodontic option you choose. And you can rest assured you or your child will be in excellent hands, as Dr. Markham is Board-Certified in orthodontics.
What different kinds of braces are available for young children?
Because many current or potential future orthodontic issues can be fixed more easily when children are still developing, it is a good idea to have your child screened by an orthodontist by age seven. Known as early intervention orthodontics, the aim is to guide growth and development of the jaw and correct problems caused by poor oral habits, such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking.
A second stage of treatment often follows early intervention orthodontics, but the earlier treatment means the second phase is less complicated, shorter in duration, and more affordable.
Since the jaw and face are still growing and developing, some issues can be fixed quickly and easily with a simple removable appliance or partial braces. This early intervention helps prevent tooth crowding, growth abnormalities, and jaw malpositioning. In some patients, it the answer to avoiding future jaw surgery.
Early intervention also helps boost self-esteem, especially with patients who have several orthodontic issues.
While not all young children need early intervention, it is worth coming in for a complimentary evaluation. Then, you can either know everything is developing as it should or learn what we can do for your child to prevent future dental issues.
The different kinds of braces for teenagers
The most common braces parents choose for their teens involve traditional metal brackets and wires. However, some parents do decide to go with clear, ceramic brackets or Invisalign® clear aligners. There are pros and cons for each option.
Bracket-and-wire braces are the best option when treatment needs are complex. It is also the more economical option.
Metal and ceramic brackets both work the same way. In fact, the only differences between them are aesthetics and cost. While the clear ceramic brackets are much less visible, certain foods and drinks can stain the ceramic. Of course, stained ceramic brackets are much more noticeable than when they are clear. Also, ceramic brackets are more expensive.
Most teenagers don’t mind the look of traditional braces. After all, they see them on most of their friends at some point or another. Also, if they have self-esteem issues because of their crooked smile or overbite, the braces alert everyone that something is being done to correct their smile issues. Therefore, the presence of braces actually boosts their self-esteem.
The biggest cons when it comes to traditional braces involve diet and oral hygiene. It can already be hard enough to convince some teens to brush and floss as they should, and the brackets and wires make these tasks even harder. Also, the list of foods to avoid can be daunting.
It might be worth going over the “not allowed” items with your teen to see if they can go a year or two without them. Some examples include:
- Crunchy foods, such as ice and popcorn
- Sticky foods, such as Starburst and caramels
- Chewy foods, such as licorice and bagels
- Hard foods, such as pretzels and nuts
- Food you bite into, such as apples, carrots, and corn on the cob
Invisalign For Teens
If your teenager is more interested in Invisalign, the question you will have to ask is, how responsible is your teen? The clear aligners are removable, which removes food restrictions and makes oral hygiene much easier, but there are risks.
The aligners must be worn at least 22 hours a day. If your teenager cannot keep this commitment, traditional braces are the best option. Also, because they are removable, the aligners can get lost, broken, or damaged when out of their mouth.
Different Kinds of Braces for Adults
More and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment, especially with the invention of Invisalign. In fact, one out of five orthodontic patients is an adult.
Invisalign allows for the gentle, smooth movement of teeth by going through a series of custom-made, clear aligners. These aligners are practically invisible, so they allow you to improve your smile discreetly. They are also comfortable and allow you to avoid the common pains associated with traditional braces, such as tightening day and injuries from poking brackets and broken wires.
Another great advantage of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable. This means you take them out to eat and perform oral hygiene. Therefore, you don’t have to deal with food restrictions or learning how to floss around braces.
However, if you cannot commit to wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours a day, you may need to go with traditional braces. If you worry about aesthetics, you may want to consider clear ceramic brackets.
Which orthodontic treatment is best for you?
If you have questions or would like to set up a complimentary orthodontic evaluation, one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members would love to talk with you. Give us a call today at (916) 924-8970, so we can get you started on your journey to a more beautiful smile.