The technology behind braces for kids has significantly advanced over the last few decades, and there are several options for children that did not exist before. Orthodontists recommend that children should see an orthodontist as soon as their permanent teeth start to erupt. This is usually when they are around seven years old. The orthodontist will be able to see future problems developing, such as overcrowding or an uneven bite. Getting an early start does not mean that your child will immediately need braces, but your child’s teeth will be monitored, so any problems that arise can be treated early.
In this high-tech age, there is a bigger selection of braces for kids than ever. There are several different types of braces, and they all aim at correcting alignment problems by applying steady pressure on the teeth to push or pull them into the proper position.
The most common braces for kids are the traditional metal braces. They have changed a lot over the years and no longer have huge metal brackets that appear like a mouth full of steel. The new metal braces are much smaller, but still use brackets, rubber bands and wires. The wires are tightened a little every few weeks to move the teeth. The rubber bands come in several colors to brighten up the smile, and children can choose the colors they like.
There are also clear or white ceramic braces that are the same as metal braces except for the color. They match the teeth, so they are not easy to see and rarely show up in photographs. Some have white or tooth-colored wires and are even less noticeable. The biggest advantage of ceramic braces is they are not easy to see; however, they are a bit more delicate than metal braces.
SmartClip braces use a special bracket system that is designed to cause less friction in the mouth. These braces use self-ligation to gently slide the teeth into place. This means less visits to our office for adjustments.
Invisalign® is an orthodontic program that uses custom-made, plastic aligners that are virtually invisible. They go over the teeth like a mouth guard and gradually push the teeth into the correct position. A new aligner is required about every two weeks. There are no dietary restrictions, and brushing and flossing can be done as usual.
The other types of braces for kids are delicate and require special cleaning for good oral health. There are a few dietary restrictions because certain foods can break the brackets or wires. Some of the foods that should not be eaten are:
• Hard candy
• Chewing gum
• Gummies or gum drops
• Corn on the cob
• Raw carrots
We encourage you to schedule an appointment for your child at the office of Dr. Brodie Bowman, DMD to learn more about the options when it comes to braces for kids. We have locations in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville. Contact us today to book your son or daughter’s appointment.