Orthodontic Appliances For Kids

If your child has crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, talk to his dentist. She may recommend seeing an orthodontist.

An orthodontist specializes in perfecting smiles using orthodontic appliances, such as:

  • Bands
  • Brackets
  • Wires
  • Headgear
  • Rubber bands
  • Retainers
  • Clear aligners

WebMD takes a look at common forms of orthodontics and gives you the facts you need to make an informed decision about orthodontic treatment.

Types of Braces and Other Appliances

There are a number of dental appliances used today. But braces are still the primary means for straightening teeth and correcting misaligned bites in children. Braces work by applying pressure to the teeth and jaws to move them into a desired position.

Braces are not the shiny mouthful of metal of years past. Many more options are now available.

Teeth used to be fully banded. But today, brackets are bonded directly to each tooth’s surface.

Braces are made of materials such as:

  • Stainless steel
  • Ceramic
  • Plastic
  • Combination of materials

This can give a clear or tooth-colored appearance to the braces. When appropriate, the wires can be made of materials such as nickel-titanium or copper-titanium. These materials may be longer lasting and require fewer adjustments than stainless steel wires.