Types of Orthodontic Treatments for Children: Braces, Aligners, and Other Options

Types of Orthodontic Treatments for Children: Braces, Aligners, and Other Options

Types of Orthodontic Treatments for Children: Braces, Aligners, and Other Options

For families in Ohio, understanding the importance of orthodontic treatments for children is essential for ensuring lifelong dental health. According to a recent report, approximately 28% of Ohio children aged 3-5 have at least one untreated decayed tooth, highlighting the need for early dental care and intervention. Orthodontic treatments not only enhance the appearance of a child’s teeth but also address functional issues that can impact overall oral health. With options ranging from traditional braces to modern clear aligners, Ohio families have access to a variety of treatments to suit their children’s needs. This article will explore the different types of orthodontic treatments available for children in Ohio, emphasizing the benefits of early intervention and the prevention of future dental problems.

1. Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment for children. They consist of metal brackets attached to the teeth, connected by wires and tiny rubber bands. Over time, the orthodontist adjusts the wires to move the teeth into the desired position gradually. Metal braces are highly effective for treating a wide range of dental issues, from simple to complex. They are also the most affordable option, making them a popular choice for families.

2. Ceramic Braces: Aesthetic Alternative

When it comes to finding the best braces in Columbus, OH for your child, ceramic braces are one of the options orthodontists will recommend. These function similarly to metal braces, but they use tooth-colored or clear brackets to blend in with the natural color of the teeth. This makes them a more aesthetic alternative for children who are conscious of the appearance of metal braces. Ceramic braces are ideal for children with mild to moderate alignment issues who prefer a less noticeable option.

3. Clear Aligners: A Modern Approach

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, offer a modern approach to orthodontic treatment. These custom-made, clear plastic trays are virtually invisible when worn, making them a popular choice for children and teens who are concerned about the aesthetics of traditional braces. Aligners are removable, allowing for easier cleaning and eating. They are best suited for mild to moderate alignment issues and require the child’s commitment to wearing them consistently for the best results.

4. Lingual Braces: Hidden Treatment

Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, but the brackets and wires are placed on the inside surface of the teeth, making them invisible from the outside. This option is ideal for children who want the effectiveness of traditional braces without the visible appearance. Lingual braces are custom-made for each patient and are suitable for treating a wide range of orthodontic issues. However, they can be more challenging to clean and may cause temporary discomfort to the tongue.

5. Palatal Expanders: Addressing Jaw Issues

Palatal expanders are orthodontic devices used to widen the upper jaw in children whose jaws are too narrow. This treatment is often recommended when there is a discrepancy in jaw width or when there is not enough space for the permanent teeth to erupt properly. Expanding the jaw at an early age can help prevent more severe orthodontic problems in the future and create a better foundation for the alignment of the teeth. Palatal expanders are typically used before braces or aligners and are custom-made for each child’s mouth.

6. Headgear: Correcting Jaw Alignment

Headgear is an orthodontic appliance used to correct severe bite problems and jaw alignment issues. It is typically worn for a few hours each day or overnight and works by applying gentle pressure to guide the growth of the jaw and teeth. Headgear is often used in conjunction with braces to achieve the desired results. While it may be more visible and less comfortable than other options, headgear can be highly effective for children with significant orthodontic needs.

7. Space Maintainers: Preserving Space for Permanent Teeth

Space maintainers are used when a child loses a baby tooth prematurely, and there is a risk of the adjacent teeth shifting into the empty space. These appliances help preserve the space for the permanent tooth to erupt properly, preventing future crowding and alignment issues. Space maintainers can be removable or fixed and are custom-made to fit the child’s mouth.

8. Retainers: Maintaining Treatment Results

After the active phase of orthodontic treatment, retainers are used to maintain the results and prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Retainers can be removable or fixed and are usually worn for a prescribed period, depending on the individual case. Regular wear of retainers is crucial for ensuring the long-term success of orthodontic treatment.

9. Orthodontic Mini-implants: Temporary Anchorage Devices

Orthodontic mini-implants, also known as temporary anchorage devices (TADs), are small screws placed in the jawbone to provide a fixed point from which to apply force to move the teeth. They are used in more complex cases to achieve precise tooth movement that might not be possible with braces alone. TADs are usually removed once the desired movement is achieved.

10. Early Orthodontic Evaluation: The Key to Timely Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This early assessment allows the orthodontist to identify potential issues and determine the best time to start treatment. Early intervention can often simplify or eliminate the need for more extensive treatment later on.


Orthodontic treatments for children have come a long way, offering a range of options to address various dental issues. From traditional braces to modern clear aligners, each treatment has its advantages and can be tailored to meet the individual needs of each child. Early orthodontic evaluation and timely intervention are crucial for preventing future dental problems and ensuring a healthy, beautiful smile. Parents should consult with an orthodontist to determine the best course of action for their child’s dental health.