Kids these days have it easy in a lot of ways…especially when it comes to having a straight and
healthy smile! If your child isn’t born with perfect pearly whites, the idea of braces might bring
back awkward teenage memories. The wires, the headgear, the rubber bands…do you want
your teenager to go through that? Luckily, braces and orthodontic treatments have evolved
since you were a teenager, just like telephones and other types of technology. Gone are the
days where braces need to be visible (and obnoxious). Whether you or your child need braces,
you have more options than ever before.

Let’s look at some of the ways that braces have changed in the past few years:

Better Preparation

New technology has an effect on patients before braces are an option. In the past few years,
x-ray technology and digital photography have improved. Dentists and orthodontists can now
get a better idea of when patients need braces, how long they need them for, and what other
procedures will help the patient get a straight smile.

New Materials

The wires and metal from past generations were painful and needed to be tightened by an
orthodontist regularly. Now, metal braces are made with a heat-activated metal that shifts and
applies pressure to teeth on its own. The temperature inside your mouth does the work for you!
Patients don’t need to make frequent trips to the orthodontist and leave with a sore mouth.
As researchers keep looking for ways to straighten teeth, we may even see the end of metal
braces altogether. Patients already have many options if they don’t want metal in their mouth. A
popular alternative is ceramic braces, which have a more subtle look. Patients with ceramic
braces can even get tooth-colored wires to blend in even more. From a distance, everyone will
think your smile is all natural!

You Can’t Run, But You Can Hide…Your Braces

Ceramic braces, or new metal braces, can still be seen. School photos will still be ruined!
Okay, let’s not get too dramatic.
Patients who don’t want their braces to be seen have options. Some patients opt to get braces
that are placed behind their teeth, rather than front and center. These braces are called lingual
braces. They are made of the same metal and wire as traditional braces.
Invisible braces have also become wildly popular since they hit the market 20 years ago, and
provide a clear alternative to metal braces. These braces can also be taken out at any time;
popcorn and chewing gum for everyone!

Talk To Your Dentist About Your Options

Advancements in braces allow patients to get a straight smile in less time, and with less pain.
But if braces are made with different materials and different technology, they also require
different maintenance. Removable braces have their advantages…but know that patients may
have to wear them longer to make up for the time that they are out of their mouth. Lingual
braces may look nice…but may require some more trips to the orthodontist. (They also aren’t
available for every patient.) Ceramic braces require more maintenance and run a higher risk for
staining if they are not cared for. And we haven’t even talked about pricing!

If you have questions or want to know more about what options are available for kids who need
braces, make an appointment with your dentist.