It’s not just adults asking for more cosmetic options for tooth straightening anymore. Teens and even some of our even younger patients are interested in the best “technology” to straighten their teeth. The two most popular options for straightening the teeth in a more “sneaky” way are Invisalign and ceramic/porcelain braces. Invisalign is a system of removable clear plastic tooth aligners custom bent using CAD/CAM software by an orthodontist and ceramic brackets are a tooth colored version of traditional braces.
Dr. AJ says, “When kids ask about the invisible options I get excited. We are always looking to deliver great service and great treatment but we love to provide these services using the best technology for each individual patient’s lifestyle. It really does depend on every individual case, not just the teeth, but the kids themselves. What activities do they participate in, what kind of grades do they get, what is their track record with keeping track of things like glasses or homework assignments.”
For a start, your child needs to be old enough to understand and fulfill the responsibility involved in wearing ceramic brackets or removable tooth aligners.
These are just like traditional metal braces but instead of being made from stainless steel, the braces are milled from pieces of crystalline porcelain that match the color of the teeth, making them blend in with your child’s smile. Ceramics are usually affixed to the upper teeth for a variety of reasons including the difficulty seeing the lower braces and because the porcelain is so abrasive it can chip the upper teeth when chewing food or grinding at night.
Metal brackets have come a long way and they’re much smaller now, but ceramic-coated brackets are larger.
Pros: All the speed and efficiency of metal braces in shifting teeth, but almost invisible. Orthodontist has more control as they are attached to the teeth while clear aligners can be removed (and if they aren’t on the teeth they aren’t working).
Cons: While the ceramic braces themselves stay tooth colored, the ties that go over them often will and the wire will still be metal. Porcelain braces have more friction and are harder to remove at the end of treatment. Ceramic braces can also cost more than traditional braces.
Removable clear plastic aligners – Invisalign
Parents and kids love removable tooth aligners for being removable. With Invisalign, patients improve their tooth and bite alignment using a series of orthodontist designed, custom bent plastic aligners.
Pros: Very easy and convenient. Patients can brush and floss without hindrance. No risk of broken metalwork and kids getting injured in the mouth because of it. Parents can also track if kids wear it through the indicator in the tray. Less visits to the office may be required for very compliant patients.
Cons: Not as effective as traditional braces for correcting more severe orthodontic problems. Your child may not be eligible for it without additional treatment. Aligners can be misplaced.
So should your child get ceramic brackets or Invisalign or traditional metal braces? All options are terrific options for great smiles and the choice is truly problem and patient dependent. The decision is actually a very personal one that our highly skilled and compassionate orthodontic team will help you make after an initial consultation and conversation.
We look forward to seeing you to discuss you or your child’s treatment options soon!
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.