Braces have long been the mainstay of modern orthodontics, but as the scientific community learns and progresses, effective alternatives to the traditional wire and bracket method of teeth alignment emerge (thank goodness!). One of those is Healthy Start. Born in a world where braces are the go-to orthodontic treatment, you are probably wondering if Healthy Start can truly deliver on its promises for your child. As a provider of Healthy Start, Dr. Mandanas affirms that yes, it can! Read on for an open discussion of healthy start vs braces.
Healthy Start Is a Holistic Approach to Orthodontic Care
Let’s start by recapping how Healthy Start works. Whereas braces are applied once your child’s adult teeth have already come in, Healthy Start is used while they are coming in. What this means is that your child’s adult teeth create roots and fibers in the right place to start (i.e. a Healthy Start!) rather than having them tweaked and adjusted after the fact. When these fibers are stretched into the right place with braces, they have a tendency to bounce back. That’s why ex-braces wearers are required to wear removable and sometimes permanent retainers.
Healthy Start is a holistic approach to orthodontic care. The Healthy Start treatment takes into consideration the patient’s entire lifetime and what will work for them over the long-term, which is treating misalignment early. It also considers the effects of orthodontic care on the whole body, including the mouth, jaw, and throat. Healthy Start can help prevent and treat jaw issues such as TMJ, something braces are infamous for. By treating jaw issues, it can open your child’s airway, which has significant ramifications for their breathing, sleep, and related behavioral issues.
Healthy Start Is More Comfortable Than Traditional Braces
What are some of the top complaints pre-teens, teens, and young adults make about braces? Perhaps if you had braces when you were younger, you will remember some of your woes. Braces can be unattractive and painful (especially after adjustment), they limit many of the things you can eat and they can be impossible to clean. Healthy Start, on the other hand, is a simple, wire-free “mouthguard” that only has to be worn at night and gently adjusts the teeth and jaw. Watch this video on what patients and providers think about Healthy Start vs braces!
Yes, Braces Are Easier to Comply With Than Healthy Start
Because a Healthy Start patient must remember to wear their mouthguard for a couple hours each day and every night, there is some responsibility required. Braces are fixed to a patient’s teeth which makes them by nature easier to comply with. Many would argue, however, that the benefits of Healthy Start vs braces far outweigh the compliance challenge and patients who are committed to their health will experience positive results.
Healthy Start Is Cheaper Than Traditional Braces
Healthy Start is widely estimated to be half the cost of traditional braces. This is due to two factors, the high cost of braces hardware and the cost of frequent visits for braces adjustments. Healthy Start mouthguards are cheaper and do not need to be monitored as closely as braces.
When it comes to Healthy Start vs braces, which will you choose? We hope this information sheds some more light on the matter and helps you clarify your decision. To continue the conversation or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mandanas regarding Healthy Start and your child, contact us today! Dr. Mandanas has been using Healthy Start to treat misalignment for 10 years. You can also take the Initial Sleep & Speech Questionnaire provided by Healthy Start to assess the viability of this treatment for your child. We hope to hear from you soon!