Also referred to as orthodontic brackets, dental braces are worn by kids because they work well when it come to correcting problems with alignment of the teeth. They apply gentle pressure on misaligned teeth through a thin but very flexible wire which is commonly referred to as an archwire. The wire is attached to the teeth with a ceramic or metal bracket. It works by exerting a slight force that causes the teeth to slowly move into a better position. When additional force is required, elastic bands are sometimes used in combination with the braces.
Are all orthodontic brackets for kids created equal?
Although there are a number of different types of dental braces that can be chosen, most people are only familiar with the silvery metal tracks of the common varieties. Here are some types of orthodontic brackets for children that can be opted for:
• Metal dental braces: These are the oldest types of orthodontic brackets for both the kids and adults. They are made of stainless steel and have been in use for decades. Though some people say they are costly, they are still the cheapest of all options. Many parents do not opt for these for their kids because they can stain the surface of the teeth, particularly if not well cared for.
• Clear or ceramic orthodontic braces: These look more natural than metal braces and are less visible. They naturally blend in with the teeth, making them the most preferred by many people, kids included. They are as strong as metal devices but don’t stain. The main issue with them is their high price and the longer treatment time requirement.
• Gold dental braces: They are the same as conventional metal braces but gold plated. Except for the cosmetic appeal, there are no gains of using gold over steel. Usually parents would not go for gold braces for their kids since the look suits adults more than children.
• Lingual braces: Placed on the inside of the teeth, lingual braces are preferred by parents who want the devices invisible. The main problem with these is that they may irritate the tongue, causing it to become sore or tender. Due to this, kids find it difficult speaking clearly when wearing them. But as kids are fast learners, they are able to fast overcome this with practice as they get used to them.
• Invisalign braces: These are a great option for kids with fairly minor alignment issues. They are virtually invisible and are removable for teeth brushing and eating purposes. Since they are made of clear non-adjustable plastic, they must be changed after every two weeks. However, you should always use a dentist who is trained to handle invisalign braces as not every dentist is trained to install these.
Preparing the kid for dental brace installation
Dental braces for kids are typically used between the ages of 8 and 14 when their teeth and bones are still developing. This encourages teeth movement while at the same time correcting the issue at hand. Preparation for braces consists of the following steps.
The orthodontist starts by performing a comprehensive examination of the kid’s mouth, which includes the facial structure, jaws and the teeth.
After the examination, diagnostic x-rays are taken to help determine the exact position of each tooth. The most effective x-ray option in this case is the panoramic type as it shows all the upper and lower teeth in their normal biting position.
3. Plaster model
A dental cast or plaster model is created after the patient has been asked to bite into a soft material for several minutes to help form a workable impression of the teeth. The created dental cast is then scanned into a digital format for further treatment planning or evaluation.
4. Removal of badly misaligned or crowed teeth
The removal of badly misaligned or heavily crowded teeth is done at this stage to make room for others.
5. Treatment plan
After a full evaluation process and the preliminary corrective measures, the orthodontist then develops an all encompassing dental treatment plan. The preferred type of dental braces is then bonded to the teeth.