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Oral Health Buzz

Kids' braces have come a long way

Amy Wruble

Does the thought of getting your kids braces bring back painful "metal mouth" memories of your own? There was the teasing, the food stuck in your brackets for days on end, and the painful adjustments every few weeks.

Parents, you can relax. Thanks to some amazing advances in technology, the braces your kids will wear are lighter, more attractive, and more comfortable than those torture devices you remember. They even work faster, so kids don't have to wear them as long—meaning there's a good chance they'll come off before Junior Prom.

Because braces have become more affordable, they're also more popular, which means practically every kid in school has them. Fun variations like tinted metals and colored rubber bands can even turn the old "tinsel teeth" look into a cool fashion statement.

Depending on the severity of bite and tooth alignment issues, some kids can opt for clear braces, made from plastic or tooth-colored ceramic material. Though clear braces are less noticeable than metal braces, they are generally more expensive and can take a bit longer to work, so it's a trade-off.

Braces still pose plenty of challenges, and certainly one of the least pleasant parts of wearing braces is getting them tightened. The good news is today's wires are stronger and more durable, meaning fewer visits to the orthodontist for adjustments. Another bonus: kids' braces technology has evolved so much that headgear is hardly used anymore.

One thing that hasn't changed: The need for good oral hygiene to prevent cavities while wearing braces. Learn more about oral care throughout orthodontic treatment at Colgate Oral Care resources.

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