Choosing the right orthodontic treatment for your child can be a daunting task with the variety of options available today. Among these, traditional metal braces remain a reliable and effective solution. It’s important that before you have braces put on your child that you understand how metal braces work, their advantages over ceramic braces, and what your child can expect when it comes to how long your child will likely need to wear braces and any lifestyle changes that come with wearing them.
How Do Metal Braces Work?
Metal braces work by applying continuous, gentle pressure to gradually shift the teeth into their proper positions. The two main components are brackets, which are bonded to each tooth, and a metal wire, which is threaded through the brackets. Over time, the orthodontist adjusts this wire, guiding the teeth into their ideal alignment.
Advantages of Metal Braces Over Ceramic Braces
While ceramic braces are less visible than metal braces, they come with a few drawbacks that make metal braces a preferred choice for many.
Durability: Metal braces are stronger and more resistant to wear and tear, making them a more robust option, particularly for active children.
Effectiveness: Metal braces often achieve quicker and more precise results due to their strength and stability.
Maintenance: Unlike ceramic braces, which can stain if not properly cared for, metal braces require less meticulous cleaning.
Cost: Generally, metal braces are more affordable than ceramic braces, making them a more cost-effective solution for many families.
How Long Will My Child Need to Wear Metal Braces?
The duration of orthodontic treatment with metal braces can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case. On average, children and teenagers can expect to wear braces for about 1.5 to 3 years. Regular check-ups and adjustments with the orthodontist are essential throughout this period to ensure optimal results.
Lifestyle Changes and Restrictions
While wearing braces, your child will need to make some lifestyle adjustments:
Diet: Avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods that can damage the brackets and wires. These include candies, popcorn, nuts, and hard fruits like apples (unless cut into small pieces).
Oral hygiene: Brushing and flossing become even more critical as food particles can easily get stuck in braces. Special brushes and flossing tools can make cleaning easier.
Sports: If your child plays contact sports, a mouthguard is crucial to protect the braces and mouth from injury.
Regular Orthodontic Visits: Regular appointments will be necessary for adjustments and to check progress. Your Fort Worth orthodontist may recommend visits every 4-6 weeks.
Find Ways to Enjoy Life with Metal Braces
While metal braces do require some adjustments and commitment, they have stood the test of time as an effective solution for various orthodontic issues. At Ahava Orthodontics, we provide comprehensive guidance and support to our patients and their families throughout this journey. If you’re considering metal braces for your child, get in touch with us to discuss the best course of action.