Metal braces are the traditional option if you want your smile straightened, and they continue to be one of the most popular options for children. Made of high-grade stainless steel, these braces straighten your teeth with metal brackets and archwires, and they are more comfortable today than they have ever been in the past.
Typically, the orthodontist looks at your child’s mouth, and identifies the best treatment plan. Then, the orthodontist puts the braces on your child’s teeth. There are regular appointments every few months or so, and during those appointments, the orthodontic team tightens up the braces so the teeth keep moving in the right direction.
In some cases, your child may need to go through early orthodontic intervention before he or she gets metal braces. Referred to as interceptive treatment, or phase one, this typically happens when your child is six to eight years old. At that point, your child only has about 12 permanent teeth, but it can be important to start the straightening process at that point.
After phase one is complete, your child moves onto phase two, the definitive portion of the treatment. That can be metal braces or another type of orthodontic treatment. If your child has not gone through phase one, that’s okay. You can start with metal braces, but the treatment may take longer.
Metal braces tend to be the least expensive option. They are also the fastest treatment option. The stainless steel is very strong, and that makes it easy for the orthodontist to adjust the braces in a way that effectively moves your child’s teeth.
In addition, metal braces are permanently in your child’s mouth until the orthodontist removes them. That makes them impossible to lose. With retainers, you often end up buying replacements or digging through garbage cans after your child has lost them.
Finally, your child gets to customize their metal braces a bit. You can add elastic bands to metal braces, and the orthodontist will change the bands every appointment. Your child can choose holiday colors, their favorite colors, school pride colors, or whatever they like.
Metal braces help to straighten your child’s smile, but they aren’t just about aesthetics. They also offer long-term dental health benefits. That includes the following:
• Making room for new teeth (molars, wisdom teeth, etc)
• Reducing the need for tooth extraction
• Reducing risk of damage to front teeth that protrude
• Addressing bite issues that may be linked to headaches or other health issues
• Preventing teeth from rubbing against each other which can lead to decay
• Helping with teeth-related speech impediments
• Eliminating cross bites
Metal braces can work for both children and adults. Usually, children need to have a certain number of permanent teeth before the orthodontist can recommend metal braces, but if your child is too young, the dentist may advise starting phase one with a retainer, and then moving to metal braces.
If you’re ready to talk about your child’s smile, it’s time to call FUNtastic Pediatric Dental and Orthodontics. We’re located in Long Beach, and you can set up a consultation by calling 562-912-2007 or contacting us online.