Orthodontic treatment for children and teenagers

Braces for children and teenagers

At Navan Orthodontics, we do all types of braces! We can discuss all options with you so you can get the best treatment and care for you.

Metal braces

Tried and tested! These are the gold standard of braces and have stood the test of time giving excellent results time after time. The metal brackets are small, low profile brackets so cause less irritation to the cheeks. They are attached to the teeth with a special glue or composite and cannot be removed.  Flexible wires are inserted into the brackets which gently guide the teeth into position. Metal brackets also have the benefit of coming with coloured elastics which can be changed at every visit!

Removable braces

Removable braces can be removed by the patient but should be worn about 22 hours per day. They are made of acrylic and wires which hold the appliance on to the teeth. They are removed for eating, toothbrushing and sports. They can come in multiple colours which can make them more appealing to younger patients! Removable braces are often worn first to correct dental and jaw problems including deep bites, narrow arches, crowding, jaw disproportion, overbites, overjets. They work best when the patient is growing (10-13 for girls, 12-14 for boys). This is a great age to start treatment as it is also when patients are best able to cooperate with removable braces.

Growth Modification Braces

When a child is growing, there is potential to change the shape and size of the dental arches and jaws. This is why the ideal age to see your orthodontist is at 11-12 years so if growth modification is needed you will be ready to start at the correct time. The most common growth modification brace is the ‘twin-blocks’. These are excellent at correcting an increased overjet (top teeth forward compared to lower teeth). Other appliances include expanders and headgear. 

Ceramic braces or clear braces

Ceramic braces or clear braces are a great alternative to metal braces. They give the same control but are made of a translucent ceramic so they match the colour of your teeth, making them a less visible and a more aesthetic option. The wires are held in place by elastics or shiny gates. 

Ceramic brackets are slightly less durable than metal brackets so can be more prone to fracture. They are also slightly more expensive. Despite these, they can be a great alternative to metal braces if you want an aesthetic option.

Mini-implants

Mini-implants- or mini-anchors that can be used to accurately move teeth. Often they are used for more complicated case with missing teeth or jaw disproportion.

6 months braces

At Navan Orthodontics, we do 6 months braces or treatment in shorter times. This is normally for easier cases or where teeth have moved a little after previous orthodontic treatment and a short course of brace treatment is needed.

Don’t be tempted by fast braces or cheaper offers 

Be wary of practices that only offer one type of brace treatment. Quick braces will not give stable results for more complicated cases. Trust your orthodontist to help choose the right brace for you over the right treatment time. 

Orthodontic treatment is a medical procedure and comes with its own benefits and risks. It needs careful planning with full assessment, consultation with the patient, x-rays, photographs and regular supervision to ensure your treatment is going to plan and not causing any harm.  Be careful of practices or internet advertisements offering fast braces, money off offers (especially if you pay upfront) or brace treatment with limited or no contact with a dentist or orthodontist. 

There has been a massive increase in the availability of braces due to advances in scanning and computer aided design techniques. This has led to an influx of companies offering orthodontics, often claiming to do it in shorter treatment times and for less money. Teeth and gums have not changed for hundreds of years. They move the same as they always did. The power of marketing on the other hand has become more widespread and sometimes can be misleading. 

Please appreciate the importance of having your orthodontic treatment done by a trained professional who does this every day, who has your best interest at heart and not the bottom line and who is there to manage all eventualities. Treatment can be unpredictable but have peace of mind, that if anything goes wrong your orthodontist is there to help and correct it.

Retainers

Teeth will always want to move back to where they were after braces (also known as relapse). Teeth also move throughout life with or without braces. This is a fact. The best chance of limiting tooth movement after orthodontic treatment is by putting teeth into the most stable position within the supporting bones and soft tissues (lips and tongue). Your orthodontist is trained to know where this is for your face. 

However, is stop teeth moving again in the future, they need retainers to hold them in place. Retainers usually consist of removable clear retainers (like clear mouth guards) that cover all surfaces of the teeth or a bonded wire retainer on the back of the incisors.

Removable retainers (essix retainers) are the best as they cover the teeth in 3 dimensions. They also hold the position of the back teeth which are also prone to moving inwards and reducing the smile width.

Bonded retainers are sometimes used too. These consist of a wire bent to fit the palatal surface of your incisors. These are good but have some limitations:

  • they only cover one surface of the incisors
  • they are more difficult to clean and can lead to decay or gum inflammation
  • they may not be suitable for all individuals
  • they can bend or change shape with the force of the bite or the environment of the mouth
  • they can come loose.

Due to the above, it is important that you understand these risk before getting a bonded retainer. They need long term maintenance and extra cleaning by yourself and with your dentist. Despite all this, they can be a good option in addition to your removable retainers and you can discuss this with your orthodontist.

An individual retention plan will be formulated for each patient by your orthodontist. This is normally removable retainers full time for a set period of time followed by long term night time wear.

At Navan Orthodontics, we review our patients for 1 year after their braces have been removed to check their retainers. There is no extra charge for this. We can also review your retainers long-term if you have any worries about them.