While research from the Australian Society of Orthodontists shows that 70% of Australian kids are happy or excited when they find out they’ll need braces, it’s natural that some may be less enthused and may be a little nervous. Most teens agree that they want to have a beautiful healthy straight smile and will enjoy the confidence it brings.  

Although metal braces are usually the most effective and user-friendly treatment option, and the teens can choose colours to individualise them, there are other treatment options at North Shore Orthodontics available for young people who are self-conscious of wearing metal braces. Dr Sheryn Deane, one of our specialist orthodontists and mother of three young children explores the popular alternatives to traditional metal braces. This includes their appearance, how effective they are and how easy they are to maintain. “I understand that each child is different and at their initial assessment I like to talk about any concerns they may have and clearly explain their treatment options. It’s important that each patient feel good about their decision and is happy with their choice of treatment plan.”

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Ceramic Braces

“It may be worth considering ceramic braces if your teen feels particularly self-conscious about metal braces as these can be a good alternative. The main difference is that they are less noticeable than traditional metal braces and work well.  Ceramic brackets can be clear or tooth-coloured and some wires can also be tooth-coloured”.

“It’s important to be aware that because of the materials used they do cost a little more than traditional braces. They are a little more fragile and certain colourful foods and drink may cause staining to the braces, so a little extra care is needed in this regard. However, most parents feel the benefits far outweigh this if their teen is self-conscious.”

Clear Aligner Plates

“Clear aligners, such as the brand InvisalignTM, are another alternative to fixed braces for less severe orthodontic problems. They are often described as ‘invisible braces’ as they are virtually invisible and removable which makes them very discreet. As well as being transparent, they are custom-made and fit snugly to your teeth like a small mouthguard.

Dr Deane further explains, “Although clear aligners can be worth considering it’s important to mention that Invisalign and braces work in different ways. Invisalign cannot always get as good a result as braces, and, due to the manufacturing costs associated with Invisalign, it can be a more expensive option than regular braces.

“If clear aligner treatment is right for your child, they will receive a series of aligners and each one is worn for about two weeks at a time. It is important that your child commits to wearing the aligners for at least 22 hours each day and only removes them to eat and to clean them.”

Although most children are happy to wear traditional braces and are excited at the prospect of the fantastic results that orthodontics can achieve, it’s great that we can offer alternatives that can be less noticeable and almost invisible.” 

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When Should My Child Get Braces?

It varies. Most children will not start treatment until 12-15 years of age however we strongly recommend a first orthodontic evaluation for children between 7-9 years of age.  Some children benefit greatly from early intervention as we can take advantage of natural growth or prevent damage occurring. Wearing certain appliances may reduce a child’s time in braces later and may also make treatment more effective. Early assessment is important.

Free Review Program

‘Another advantage of screening your child early is that they will be placed in our free review program,’ Dr Deane explains. ‘After their initial assessment, we like to see children annually for a quick check up so that we can make sure their orthodontic treatment starts at the best possible time for them by monitoring their growth and development. We do not charge for these review visits which is great news for families.’

Costs Involved

Orthodontic costs will vary depending on the treatment needed and will be explained and set before treatment commences.  At North Shore Orthodontics we offer flexible, interest free payment plans to suit most budgets. If you have health insurance, you may also be entitled to claim a portion of the treatment cost back from your health fund.

Choose an experienced specialist orthodontist at North Shore Orthodontics 

Our orthodontists at North Shore Orthodontics are specialist orthodontists and as such have completed a master’s or doctorate degree requiring an additional 3 years of full-time university training on top of their general dental degree. As specialist orthodontists we limit our practice to orthodontic treatment all day, every day. With our doctors regularly attending professional development and our teaching commitments at the University of Sydney, patients can be assured they receive the benefits of the latest orthodontic treatments and technologies.

At North Shore Orthodontics we are proud to be the longest running specialist orthodontic practice on the North Shore and have been trusted and relied upon to deliver thousands of beautiful smiles in our community.

First step

Simply call our practice on 9418 1660 to book an orthodontic assessment or go to our Contact Us page and submit a request. We look forward to creating your beautiful, healthy and straight smile.