Common types of braces for kids

When it comes time to straighten your child’s teeth with braces, you will actually be presented with quite a few options. Your child might be eligible for everything from self-ligating braces to Invisalign®. Every single one of these devices has its own pros and cons, and it is important for parents to carry out some research so they know exactly what type of braces for kids will be most beneficial for their child.

What can be treated with braces?

Daily brushing and flossing will reduce your child’s risk of gum disease and tooth decay, but it will not prevent malocclusion. This is a medical term that is used to describe any misalignment of a patient’s teeth, including gaps, overbites, underbites and an overcrowded smile.

In addition to causing cosmetic problems, these issues can produce a number of unhealthy side effects ranging from sleep apnea to speech impediments. Treating a patient’s malocclusion while they are still a child will often help them to avoid these side effects before they ever develop.

Types of braces

Self-ligating braces

These braces are unique in that they do not require the use of elastics, which usually results in less friction for the patient. Self-ligating braces use a clip instead of elastics in order to reposition the teeth. These types of braces can have metal or ceramic (clear) brackets.

Ceramic (clear) braces

Ceramic braces have become quite popular in recent years because they have many of the same benefits as metal braces, but they are not quite as visible. These devices can be made from various materials that are either translucent or stained to match the natural color of the patient’s teeth. The primary drawback of ceramic braces is that they are much more fragile than their metal counterparts.


Depending on the age of your child and the extent of their malocclusion, they might be eligible for clear aligners such as the Invisalign system. Instead of using brackets and wires to pull the teeth into the correct position, clear trays apply a gentle amount of pressure to align the smile. Younger children are not always the best candidates for Invisalign because these devices can easily be taken out, lost or completely forgotten.

Learn more about braces for kids

To get more information about each of these types of braces for kids, visit Petty & Bielik Orthodontics in Oak Lawn. Our staff is happy to answer any questions you may have. When you and your child first meet with our orthodontist, you will be provided with a comprehensive list of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these straightening systems. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation for your child.