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Will My Kid Need Fixed or Removable Braces?

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Children can often be very self-conscious about their appearance. A shy child may find the thought of wearing fixed “train track” style braces a bit daunting. If this applies to your kid and you know they will need braces, then you probably want them to benefit from the least conspicuous, yet, highly effective orthodontic treatment.

So, is it possible for children to have removable braces?

This is what I have learned!

Over the past few years, the use of clear plastic aligners that are fully removable has become an immensely popular form of orthodontic treatment. Particularly amongst adults who want their braces to be as discreet and as invisible as possible.

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So, why not get them for your kids?

There are a number of different removable braces, but one of the most popular is Invisalign. This company also produces clear aligners that are specifically designed for teenagers. It might be a really good choice if your teen is very self-conscious and has low self-confidence.

Some Kids Might be Suitable for Removable Braces

Invisalign Teen is very similar to the adult-oriented system. This consists of a planned series of clear BPA free plastic aligners that can easily be removed. The aligners fit tightly over the teeth, forming a thin skin that once in place is virtually invisible.

This system is quite different from the bulky metal braces that many of us had to endure as children. But do they work as well as fixed braces?

What Problems Can Be Treated with Invisalign Teen?

Invisalign Teen is ideal for treating numerous orthodontic problems, which include quite complex issues. For example, it can treat issues to do with malocclusion or a poor bite. It can treat problems with overbites, under bites, cross bites and open bites.

It could help your child if they have overcrowded or overlapping teeth. It can help to close up or to minimize spaces in between teeth that really shouldn’t be there.

Main Advantages of Choosing Invisalign Teen

One of the main advantages of choosing this system is the potential benefits it can have on your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence during orthodontic treatment. They are far less likely to be teased and they will be able to do all the things they want to, just as if they weren’t wearing braces. Fixed braces can often be quite tricky to clean around. Although there are many tools such as floss threaders and water flossers that can make cleaning around the brackets and wires much easier.

However, it does require a greater dedication towards maintaining oral health during treatment. Otherwise, there is the risk that the brace brackets could leave stains on the teeth once they are removed. This can be a great shame when it happens. Especially when the child and their parents have been looking forward to seeing their newly straightened smile.

With Invisalign Teen, the aligners are just taken out whenever your kid wants something to eat or drink. Also, whenever they need to brush or floss their teeth. The system couldn’t be simpler to use.

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Main Differences between Invisalign Teen and the Adult Version

Invisalign Teen has been designed to take into account a child’s back teeth that may still need to erupt. It also includes special blue colored wear indicators that are located towards the back of each aligner. These gradually fade as the aligners are worn, making it easy for parents and caregivers to know if they are used.

It also makes it easier for your kid's orthodontist to check that the aligners are being worn as frequently as recommended. Everybody knows teenagers are prone to losing or mislaying things, which is why Invisalign Teen includes several replacement aligners free of charge.

Are There Any Drawbacks in Choosing Invisalign Teen?

Patient compliance is vital for the success of this treatment. The aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours each day, every day until treatment is completed. Every two weeks your child will swap their current set of aligners for a new set that will continue moving their teeth until treatment is complete. The overall length of treatment is likely to be very similar to wearing fixed braces.

If your child is particularly forgetful and is unlikely to wear their aligners as needed, they may be better off considering fixed braces. If the aligners aren’t worn for long enough it will affect the efficacy of treatment. This could end up being a complete waste of time and money.

When are Fixed Braces a Better Option?

Sometimes fixed braces can be a better choice for correcting particularly complicated orthodontic problems. This is something that can be determined when your child visits a dentist. He or she can recommend an orthodontic assessment if your child requires this treatment. An orthodontist will be able to determine which brace will be most successful.

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An orthodontist will always suggest the treatment they know will work best for a child. They will take the time to explain each possible option to parents and children. Even if your child does require fixed braces there are still options for making them less visible. For example, it is possible to choose braces that have clear or tooth-colored ceramic brackets that are attached to very thin wires that can sometimes also be tooth colored.

An alternative is to make a feature out of the braces and to encourage your child to pick brightly colored brackets and wires that lets their personality shine through. Regardless of which braces option is best, it’s important that your child understands that braces will only take a tiny percentage of their time while the rewards can be considerable. A beautifully straight smile can look amazingly attractive and often the results will last for life. Provided of course your child wears their retainer!

Then there are the potential benefits to their dental health. Often teeth that are overlapping or incorrectly positioned can be difficult to keep clean and they may wear down unevenly. Once their teeth are repositioned into the correct alignment, your kid should find them easy to keep clean. Thus, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

With all the potential benefits of orthodontic treatment, wearing braces for just a short while is an extremely worthwhile price to pay.

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