Kids' Braces Have Come a Long Way

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.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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  • Swish with water before brushing – instruct your child to rinse with water after eating. This will loosen food that may be caught in the braces, then brush thoroughly.
  • Floss once a day – each night help your child floss. Flossing helps loosen food debris and plaque at and under the gum line that would otherwise harden into tartar. It can also help reach the nooks and crannies in the teeth that might be difficult to reach with a toothbrush.
  • Use a fluoride rinse – after brushing and before bed have your child rinse with fluoride rinse to help keep teeth strong and healthy
  • Dental visits every six months – take your child to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. The dentist can point out areas that need more attention, and help make sure you're keeping your child’s teeth healthy and clean.