The average American laughs about eight times a day. However, 57% of Americans cover their mouths because they feel insecure about their teeth. About 61% wish to change something about their teeth, with crookedness as one of the top concerns. 

With orthodontic care, your child can grow up without hiding their stunning smile. Here are five different types of braces to consider before visiting their pediatric dentist. After reviewing these options, you can select a choice that best suits your child’s needs and preferences.

Learn more about these braces options today!

Traditional Metal Braces

When most people think of getting braces, they imagine traditional metal braces. Traditional metal braces use metal brackets and wires to bring our teeth into place. This fixed appliance can improve your child’s bite while straightening their teeth.

The braces will apply pressure over time to realign your child’s teeth. Your pediatric dentist can either bond or cement the metal brackets onto your child’s teeth. Then, they’ll use a flexible wire, placed between slots in the brackets, to hold the braces together. 

Your pediatric dentist can also use small bands (ligatures) to keep the wire in the proper place. Sometimes, dentists bond or cement a metal ring (band) to one of your child’s back teeth, too. This technique will provide anchorage and strength to the braces. 

There are new types of dental braces now available, such as heat-activated archwire braces. These archwires can use your child’s natural body heat to move their teeth while minimizing pain and discomfort. 

Pros and Cons

One study found that metal braces, when compared to clear aligners, are more effective for:

  • Retention after brace removal
  • Treating teeth rotation
  • Treating certain types of malocclusions

Straightening your child’s teeth with traditional metal braces ensures your child can’t remove their braces. They’ll receive around-the-clock treatment without delaying their treatment plan. With braces options like clear aligners, your child can remove their aligners, which might cause delays. 

Your child’s overall dental health will improve after they straighten their teeth with metal braces. 

For example, it’s easier for children to chew and digest food when their teeth are straight. It’s also easier for them to brush and floss, minimizing the risk of plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. 

Your child can also customize their metal braces. For example, they can use different colored bands and brackets based on their preferences. 

However, there are a few cons to consider. Metal braces can take a little time to get used to. Your child might experience some pain and discomfort, especially during the beginning of their treatment plan. 

Traditional metal braces can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $6,000. Make sure to schedule a consultation appointment with your child’s dentist. They can give you a more accurate estimate (which can vary based on your location and insurance). 

Invisalign/Clear Aligners

Your child might prefer clear aligners like Invisalign aligners instead. This form of orthodontic care involves clear, plastic aligners custom-made to fit around your child’s teeth. Every two weeks or so, your child will receive a new pair of aligners.

Each pair will bring your child’s teeth into the desired alignment.

Your child will need to remove their aligners to eat, brush, and floss their teeth. Eating or drinking with the aligners on could cause discoloration. Food particles might get stuck between their aligners, too.

As a result, clear aligners are ideal for older children and teens who can remain proactive about their treatment plan. Your child will need to wear the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day to avoid delays. 

Clear aligners can help treat mild to moderate dental issues. Your child’s dentist might recommend a different option if they have a more severe alignment problem.

Pros and Cons

Clear aligners are more comfortable than traditional metal braces. Your child won’t have to avoid certain foods during treatment, either. Instead, they can remove their aligners to eat their favorite foods and snacks. 

However, your child will need to remain vigilant.

Remember, they’ll need to make sure they’re wearing their aligners 20 to 22 hours a day. They’ll also need to clear their aligners to avoid plaque buildup and discoloration. 

Ceramic Braces

As you review these options for orthodontic work, your pediatric dentist might recommend ceramic braces.

Ceramic braces are the same size as traditional braces. Instead of metal brackets, however, they use clear- or tooth-colored brackets. An older child might prefer this option, as it provides more discretion. 

As with traditional metal braces, these braces will bring your child’s teeth into alignment over time. 

Pros and Cons

One of the top advantages of ceramic braces is the discretion. Your child won’t have to feel awkward about having metal brackets and wires in their mouth. 

Ceramic and traditional braces sometimes offer faster treatment than clear aligners. However, you’ll need to consult your child’s dentist to determine the duration of their treatment plan. Their treatment plan can vary based on the severity of their orthodontic needs. 

Ceramic braces can also experience discoloration. Your child will need to brush and floss daily to keep their braces clean.

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces use a wire to move your child’s teeth into place. They use clips, rather than rubber ties, to keep the wires in proper placement. 

Pros and Cons

Your child might have an easier time adjusting to self-ligating braces, as they’re often more comfortable. They’re also easy to adjust, reducing appointment times. 

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are one of the less common types of braces. These braces are placed behind the teeth. As with clear aligners, they can offer discretion during the duration of your child’s treatment plan. 

Pros and Cons

Lingual braces might cause a temporary lisp. They can also irritate the tongue.

Your child might need more time to adjust to this type of orthodontic appliance. 

Straight Smiles: Explore the Different Types of Braces Today

Don’t rush to make a decision when choosing between these different types of braces. Instead, talk to your child’s pediatric dentist. They can help you make an informed decision based on your child’s orthodontic care needs. 

With orthodontic work, your child can feel confident in their stunning, straight smile. 

Want to learn more? Schedule a consultation appointment at our office to get started!

We can’t wait to see you both!