Braces among children have become so common that they’ve turned into some form of right of passage. And while some parents may choose to get their kids braced for cosmetic reasons, most of the time it is necessitated by a dental problem. Orthodontists – specialists in teeth alignment procedures – recommend braces as a way of treating misaligned teeth. To that end, we can say that braces are very effective in the long term.
Nonetheless, not all children can comfortably wear braces for the recommended amount of time, since their bodies may be resistant to foreign objects. These kids may experience slight pain and discomfort, and varying levels of stress when they put their braces on. If your kid falls in this category, you’ve probably asked yourself the question “is there a way to get straight teeth without braces?” The short answer is yes. The long answer; depends on several factors.
Teeth Can’t Straighten Themselves Naturally
If you or your child hope that their teeth will properly align themselves as they get older (even without a brace), then you are setting yourself up for massive disappointment. The truth is, teeth gaps and crooked teeth cannot correct themselves and may get worse in the absence of corrective actions.
An Effective Alternative to Braces
The question probably running through your mind right now is; if bad teeth can’t fix themselves, how will your kid get straight teeth without wearing braces?
Currently, there are 2 alternatives to the traditional metal and ceramic braces, which work just as good. The first one involves the use of lingual braces – which are similar in make and functionality to the normal braces. They are however are placed at the back of the teeth, instead of the front.
These braces are sometimes known as “invisible braces” and are great options for children who may experience loss of esteem when they wear ordinary braces. Nonetheless, if one experiences discomfort with the normal braces, lingual braces won’t be any different. What more, lingual braces are also harder to clean and more expensive than metal braces.
The second option, and by far the most effective alternative to braces, is Invisalign. This is a pretty new procedure that has taken the orthodontic world by storm and has satisfied thousands of ‘awkward’ teenagers and worried parents.
So What Is Invisalign?
As mentioned above, Invisalign is a modern corrective procedure that seeks to correct crooked teeth without a patient wearing the traditional braces. The metal wires and brackets are replaced with almost clear plastic aligners (hence the name). Instead of metal brackets forcing the teeth to assume the preferred positions, Invisalign uses comfortable plastic plays to gently but firmly achieve the desired effects.
The process of getting Invisalign for kids is simple and straightforward, although you may be required to wait for a few weeks. A consultation with your orthodontist (where you inform them of the problems your child experiences with braces) starts off the process. If the specialist is ready, they will take a 3D mold of your child’s teeth during the first visit, but if they’re not, you may be asked to come later. Whatever the case, you should expect the first set of aligners (which are slightly looser and gentler) at the next appointment.
Just like braces, the aligners used in Invisalign can be removed during meal times, but have to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours every day. The realignment of the problematic teeth happens over time as they struggle to fit inside the plastic trays. Your orthodontist will give you a new set of trays after a predetermined interval (usually every 2-4 weeks) to ensure the teeth stick in their new positions.
Benefits of Invisalign
The whole idea of Invisalign may sound complicated and expensive, but it is actually quite simple, comfortable and very effective – a procedure that your kid will definitely enjoy.
Some of the benefits you stand to enjoy include:
It’s Invisible – One of the biggest cons with metal braces is the fact that they’re visible even from a ‘mile away’, which may negatively impact self-conscious kids. Invisalign, however, is practically invisible and not noticeable unless one looks hard from a very close point. If your kid is shy or self-conscious, they will love the fact that most people won’t detect, or recognize the aligners in their mouths.
Has No Food Restrictions – With traditional braces, there’s plenty of rules in regard to what one should not eat. For instance, sticky candy, gum, soda, and popcorn, are prohibited. With Invisalign, there are no rules as to what your baby can eat. All they need to do is remove the trays before every meal and pop them back in after eating.
It’s a Painless Procedure – If you’ve ever had braces, you know how painful they can be after tightening, or when a wire gets out of line and pops the gums and cheeks. Invisalign does not use any metal or ceramic parts – only soft plastic – which means very little pain is experienced.
Looking for an orthodontist in Garden Grove or Orange County? Contact us today for a consultation!