BRACES, ACTIVE TREATMENT AND RETENTION
Kids braces usually require less treatment time and achieve better results when they follow
interceptive orthodontics. Once the jaws and palate have been moved into their proper
position and gaps formed by missing teeth have been filled by permanent teeth, dental braces
can be installed. Because there is less tooth crowding and adequate space in the gums for the
teeth, orthodontic treatment with braces is simpler and shorter.
After Interceptive Orthodontics
Before kids braces are installed, children usually enjoy a period without any dental appliances.
This period can be up to one to two years and is a welcome relief to kids who have just had a
year of interceptive orthodontics. During this “holiday period,” kids can return to eating the
foods that they enjoy. While they still need to keep their teeth clean and healthy, dental
hygiene is usually easier to manage during this period between interceptive orthodontics and
active treatment with dental braces.
Kids braces – Active Treatment
Active treatment with kids braces is similar to traditional braces in general. Brackets and bands
are installed with dental cement and an archwire applies the needed force to move the teeth.
Because interceptive orthodontics already changed the size of the jaws in most cases, few tooth
extractions are necessary during this phase of treatment. During the active treatment of kids
braces, the process can move a bit more quickly than in adolescents or in adults because kids’
bones and tissues are still growing and changing. Therefore adjustments (tightening) may take
place more frequently than they would with adult braces.
Kids Braces – Retention
Retention is particularly important for kids braces. Just as the teeth move more easily during
active treatment, they also tend to drift more easily once the kids braces come off. This means
that a child will need to wear a retainer for a long time after active treatment. A child that has
just finished active treatment should expect to wear a retainer more or less constantly for a full