Braces for Kids: A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Braces, Springs, and Elastics for a Healthy Smile

An orthodontist is looking at the little girl's teeth to decide about the type of braces

Braces can be an important part of orthodontic treatment for children with misaligned teeth or other issues. However, knowing where to start can take time with so many different braces available. 

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of braces and the springs and elastics used to help move teeth into the correct position. We’ll also offer tips on caring for braces and dealing with discomfort, so your child can achieve a healthy, confident smile.

Different types of braces

Our Boca Raton dental team offers several types of braces for kids, each with its advantages and drawbacks. Here are some of the most common options:

Traditional metal braces

These stainless steel braces consist of brackets, archwires, and elastics. As the most common and often most affordable option, they are highly effective but can be visibly noticeable.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces use clear or tooth-colored brackets and sometimes wires, making them less conspicuous. Ideal for image-conscious children, they are more expensive and can be more brittle than metal braces.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are placed on the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible. They offer discretion but can be harder to clean and adjust, possibly causing more discomfort than other options.

Self-ligating braces

These braces use a special clip or door to hold the archwire in place, removing the need for elastics. They offer greater comfort and ease of cleaning than traditional braces but are typically more expensive.

Clear aligners

Clear aligners like Invisalign are a popular alternative to braces. Made of clear plastic and removable, they suit children who play sports or wind instruments. However, they may not be as effective as traditional braces for more complex orthodontic issues and require high compliance.

Springs and elastics used in braces

In addition to brackets and wires, Dr. Arthur Kapit, our Boca Raton orthodontist, offers springs and elastics to help move teeth into the correct position. Here are some of the most common types:

Types of springs

  • Coil springs: Open or close spaces between teeth.
  • Power chains: Align crowded or crooked teeth.
  • T-loop springs: Move teeth in a specific direction.
  • Open coil springs: Create space for teeth to move into.

Types of elastics

  • Interarch elastics: Correct bite issues.
  • Intraarch elastics: Move teeth in a specific direction.
  • Rubber bands: Improve bite fit and jaw position.

Caring for braces

Caring for braces is important to ensure effective treatment and prevent damage to the braces or teeth. 

Here are some tips for caring for braces:

  • Brushing and flossing. Children should brush their teeth after every meal using a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once a day with a floss threader or an interdental brush to clean between brackets and wires.
  • Diet restrictions. Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods such as popcorn, nuts, and gum that can damage braces or get stuck.
  • Sports and braces. Children can still play sports with braces but should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth and braces from impact.
  • Dealing with discomfort. Braces can cause discomfort, especially after application or adjustments. Over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax can help.

Two girls are smiling and looking at the healthy teeth


At Big Boca Smiles LLC in Boca Raton, FL, we strive to provide effective orthodontic solutions for your child’s unique needs. 

Parents and children can make informed decisions about their orthodontic treatment by understanding the different types of braces, springs, and elastics available and proper care and discomfort management. Our dedicated team is here to support you and your child throughout the journey toward a healthy, confident smile. 


Schedule a consultation with our experienced orthodontists today to discuss the best treatment options for your child.


Big Boca Smiles LLC is conveniently located in Boca Raton, FL. We happily welcome patients from neighboring communities.

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