Ceramic braces for kids & teens
Orthodontics has evolved over the years to offer a variety of options that can make your child’s treatment period more appealing. While traditional metal braces remain one of the most popular choices for orthodontic treatment in this age group, many parents are turning to ceramic braces for a solution that is both subtle and effective.
What are ceramic braces?
Ceramic braces are designed to function in the same way as traditional metal braces, but are made out of a tooth-coloured ceramic material that is less visible on your teeth. Combining ceramic brackets with clear or colourful elastics (modules) and white wires, enables your teenager to have treatment with braces, without the really obvious look of metal braces.
Are ceramic braces invisible?
Ceramic braces are much less obvious compared to metal braces, however, to undergo orthodontic treatment truly invisibly, lingual braces, which are braces attached to the inside/tongue side of the teeth, are required. Clear aligner treatment can also be considered if your teen is wanting to undergo orthodontic treatment via a more discreet route.
Each treatment option has pros and cons, but it’s important to speak to your orthodontist about which option will be most suitable for your teen as not every option is recommended for every patient.
Ceramic braces or clear aligners?
Clear aligners have grown in popularity and are now one of the most sought-after orthodontic treatment options, however this form of treatment has limitations. Many complex tooth movements can’t be performed without fixed appliances and the ability to achieve even minor corrections requires commitment and compliance, with the need for aligners to be worn for at least 20-22 hours a day, every day of the week. For these reasons, parents seeking more discreet treatment options for their teen should speak to their orthodontist about ceramic braces.
Ceramic braces: the best of both worlds
While some teens will feel self-conscious about having braces for a couple of years, many of their peers will be undergoing similar treatments at around the same time and our research has shown that the stigma around braces is really a thing of the past.
Nowadays, metal braces are smaller and more comfortable than ever before, however, ceramic braces can really allow your teen to have the best of both worlds: the straightening power of metal braces with a more subtle appearance.
Teens can mix it up
Small, round elastic modules are needed to hold the arch wire within each bracket. These elastic modules can be clear, silver or pearl in colour so they are hardly seen. However, vibrant coloured elastic modules are lots of fun, and look fantastic against the background of clear ceramic braces. So, your teen can change up the look of their braces, from the discreet to a colourful rainbow of colours, during the course of their treatment.
Ceramic braces considerations
A common concern regarding the use of ceramic braces is the staining that can occur during treatment, especially if your teen indulges in highly processed/coloured foods, chicken flavoured foods and curries. The ceramic braces themselves don’t tend to stain, however, clear elastic modules do stain and discolour. Ask your orthodontist to use silver or pearl coloured modules instead to minimise discolouration. Also, you can ask to have your modules changed on the day of or day before a really important event, to keep your smile looking fresh and fabulous.
And of course, it is important that your teenager is brushing their teeth after every meal and drinking plenty of water to rinse out their mouth and keep their braces clean.