Alternatives To Orthodontic Braces For Your Child

Pediatric dentists commonly use braces as a tooth-straightening appliance in children. These dental appliances are however not the only option for achieving a perfect smile. If your child has crowded, irregular or slightly misaligned teeth, there can be viable options to braces than you can consider.

Why braces may not be ideal for your child

Unfortunately, orthodontic treatment can be a costly and lengthy process. Among the drawbacks of braces is that they tend to pull teeth down and back especially when worn over long periods, leaving your child with a narrow mouth with a high roof.

Bite and jaw alignment may also be affected when teeth are pressed back during straightening, while tooth enamel may also be damaged by the pressure applied by braces. While not common, tooth root resorption can sometimes result due to the prolonged acting force braces put on teeth.

If the financial cost of braces, or the inconvenient length of time required for treatment is an issue, there are other alternatives that are open to your child.


Although they do not realign teeth, veneers can mask imperfections such as crooked or misshapen teeth. These appliances are bonded to broken or inclined teeth, restoring their original shape and size and thus eliminating any bite issues. These dental appliances can also bridge gaps between teeth, restoring a perfect smile. Veneers are usually recommended for minimal misalignment issues, especially if only one or two teeth are inclined.


Retainers have quickly gained popularity as a cheap and effective alternative to braces, especially for children requiring only a minimal amount of correction. When used alone, retainers can effectively reposition slightly misaligned teeth into their original position, giving your child a perfect bite and smile.

Retainers are typically removable appliances that apply pressure to misaligned teeth. Because they are removable, they are less intensive and easier to wear than permanent braces and can often be used to finalize straightening after braces are removed. These appliances are designed to fit perfectly on the entire arch of your mouth, pulling misaligned teeth into their natural position.

Retainers can also be used to great effect after a patient has undergone accelerated orthodontics, where the jaw bone is weakened so that teeth move more easily under pressure.


For mild to moderate misalignment of the upper teeth, a head gear can be a great treatment option for your child. This orthodontic appliance tied around the face and then attached to the upper jaw using a device called a palatal expander, so as to pull the front teeth backwards and solve severe bite problems. For more information, contact a professional such as Shea John V E.