Orthodontic Treatment for Children
From metal braces and ceramic braces to Invisalign clear aligners and lingual braces, learn about today’s orthodontic options for kids and teens.
The skilled team at park smiles nyc pediatrics offers a wide range of orthodontic options to ensure your child achieves healthy, straight teeth and a stunning smile.
At what age should my child first see an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist by the age of seven.After that, it’s good to have periodic follow ups even if there are no noticeable issues, because patients and parents may be unaware of ongoing issues. Depending on the age of your child and the issue, appropriate orthodontic treatment (i.e. early interceptive treatment ) will be recommended.
What is Phase I and interceptive treatment?
Interceptive treatment is a phased type of treatment in orthodontics that means diagnosing and treating some orthodontic problems at an early stage to prevent and/or lessen the severity of problems in the future
Phase I treatment as an early treatment, typically recommended for children between the ages of six and ten years old, is designed to maximize the benefit of young age with continuously developing bone and teeth and prevent future issues that could require extensive treatment and even surgery if the right timing is missed. Phase I treatment involves different types of appliances such as a rapid palatal expander (RPE) and/or a partial set of braces. Phase I treatment usually ranges over a period of six to twelve months depending on the severity.
Phase I may be recommended when a child still has a lot of their baby teeth and before most of their permanent teeth have erupted. Once Phase I is completed, retainers are given to maintain the treatment outcome until Phase II treatment is ready, which is usually when almost all permanent teeth have emerged. Phase II will usually consist of braces or clear aligners , but additional appliances may be necessary.
What are the options for braces and clear aligners for kids?
In the past, orthodontic treatment options were more limited. However, with advancements in technology, there are great several options for children. These include:
- Metal Braces.Known as traditional braces, metal braces have metal brackets and wires that are made up of different metal composition and hence metal colored. However, today’s metal braces are much more advanced than ever before. The brackets that get attached to the teeth are smaller and less noticeable than the ones in the past, and a large variety of arch wires (the wires attached to the brackets) help teeth move more quickly and less painfully.
Additionally, many different colored bands that hold wires into brackets provide the chance for kids to express themselves creatively.
- Ceramic Braces. Using tooth-colored ceramic brackets and wires instead of metal, ceramic braces are an attractive option for children who are more concerned about aesthetics. Sometimes referred to as clear braces, ceramic braces are transparent and a popular choice for many kids and teenagers who prefer a subtle look compared to metal braces.
- Lingual Braces. Sometimes known as “inside braces” or “braces behind teeth”lingual braces are another type of braces where the brackets, wires and elastic bands used to align teeth are all mounted on their backside (tongue side). One advantage of lingual braces is that they are generally not noticeable to others as no appliances are attached to teeth from outside. Lingual braces are ideal for those who prefer neither conventional metal braces nor clear aligners for different reasons.
- Clear Aligners. Clear Aligners such as Invisalign are one of the most popular options for kids and teens (as well as adults). They’re virtually invisible and more comfortable to wear, with no hard parts to rub against gums and cheeks inside the mouth. Another important benefit is that because clear aligners are easily removed for eating, diets don’t need to be adjusted, which plays a big role in kids under orthodontic treatment. Also, removable aligners allow normal cleaning regimes, which are very important for good oral hygiene. There’s good reason why orthodontic treatment using clear aligners is so popular today!
How long will my child need to wear braces or aligners?
The total time depends on your child’s unique needs. Typically, fixed braces or clear aligners are worn anywhere between one and three years. Your child does have control over how long their treatment lasts by brushing and flossing well, being careful not to damage appliances, and coming in for regular orthodontic adjustment appointments.
Will my child need to wear a retainer ?
Yes, in order to ensure your child keeps their beautiful smile and perfectly aligned teeth, they must wear a retainer. Immediately after having any type of orthodontic treatment completed, they’ll have to wear the retainer all the time for at least a couple of months in order to prevent any relapse. After the first couple of months, they’ll need to wear the retainer every night for the rest of their life. Not wearing their retainer as recommended risks allowing all the time and money you invested in orthodontic treatment go to waste by letting your child’s teeth slip back into their previous position.
How much do braces and clear aligners cost?
Every smile is unique and so is every orthodontic treatment plan, including fixed braces and clear aligners. At Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics, we want the entire dental experience to be painless and stress-free: from your child’s treatment to your pocketbook.
We are in-network with many dental insurance plans that cover orthodontic treatment. For those with no insurance , our Miles for Smiles Savings Plan provides excellence in recommended, routine preventative care for you and your entire family. And when you’re in need of any other dental treatments over and above preventative care — including orthodontics –we also offer a variety of affordable payment options, including financing through Care Credit. At your child’s initial examination and consultation, we’ll go into details about their specific needs and how we can help make their treatment as affordable as possible.
Call Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics today!
At Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics, our skilled orthodontic team offers fixed braces or Invisalign clear aligners tailored to your child’s individual needs and aesthetic preference. If your child is in need of orthodontic treatment, the best first step is to call our office at 212-988-6724 and schedule a consultation.
Attaining healthy, straight teeth and a beautiful smile is like a Walk in the Park – at Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics!