Before considering which type of braces will be most well-suited to your child, it’s important to firstly identify whether orthodontic treatment is an appropriate choice.
If your child is presenting with overcrowded, crooked teeth, or jaw positioning issues such as an overbite or underbite, then braces will most likely be required. Many orthodontic issues are genetic, so if there is a family history of needing braces, there is a high chance that your child could fall into the same category. Jaw and teeth complications can also arise from bad habits, such as thumb sucking, as well as injuries and tooth extractions.
During general oral health check-ups, your dentist should notify you if there are any early warning signs of future problems with your child’s teeth. In the event there are any causes for concern, you will be advised to visit an orthodontist for further review.
While there are no age restrictions for orthodontic treatment, it’s recommended to wait until your child has a full set of adult teeth. It’s most common for children aged between 9 and 14 to have braces, as this period often involves the most significant amount of facial growth, but every child is different.
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at the two treatment options that your orthodontist will be likely to present to you.
Metal vs. Clear Braces
There isn’t a great deal of difference between these treatments as both use relatively similar methods to achieve the same results. By applying pressure to the teeth, both types of braces aim to encourage each tooth to move into a straight position throughout the process of growth and development.
Metal braces are recognised as the most traditional form of orthodontics, having been first used about a century ago, while clear ceramic braces are a more recent invention that began to enter the market in the 1980s. As the name suggests, metal braces are made from stainless steel, with metal brackets connected by a wire. Clear braces, on the other hand, use brackets made of either plastic, porcelain or ceramic materials, with white archwire.
Both ceramic and metal braces require regular visits to the orthodontist for monitoring and adjustments, with both treatments taking an average of 2 years to complete, depending on the complexity of the individual’s case.
Clear braces do tend to cost more as the components are more expensive than metal, but it’s still a more affordable option than Invisalign.
Why Choose Ceramic Braces?
There are a couple of reasons why you may opt to have clear ceramic braces over the metal alternative. While both types of braces are constantly undergoing improvements to make the treatment more comfortable and effective, there are a couple of key advantages to the clear option.
Clear braces are designed to blend in with your child’s smile. The brackets, wires and rubber bands are either white, transparent or a shade that emulates the colour of teeth. Meanwhile, metal braces use silver wires with coloured brackets and rubber bands that can draw a lot of unwanted attention. Although it may come at a greater cost, ceramic braces are an ideal choice for any child that may feel self-conscious or anxious about wearing braces, making the investment worthwhile.
Once again, it all depends on the individual patient, however, clear ceramic braces usually require fewer ongoing visits to the orthodontist. While metal braces often need to be adjusted and monitored every few weeks, follow up appointments for clear braces can be up to five or six weeks apart. Clear braces also tend to be faster and easier to adjust than metal options, leading to shorter orthodontic appointments.
What’s Best For Your Child?
When you take your child to visit an orthodontist, you will be advised whether metal or clear braces will be an appropriate treatment based on the issues presented. If you have the option to choose, the main factors that you will need to consider are aesthetic and cost. As clear and metal braces use comparable techniques to correct teeth and jaw alignment, you can rest assured that either option will allow your child to achieve a straight-toothed smile.
Book an Orthodontics Appointment
If you’re ready to determine the most suitable course of action for your child, contact Baldivis Orthodontics today. Our friendly specialists will provide you with an honest opinion based on years of experience. At Baldivis Orthodontics, we always put our patients first, ensuring we get the best results for children and their families.