Making Braces Easy for Tweens and Teens
Teens feel awkward enough without braces. Add orthodontics to the equation and the discomfort can be magnified. Choose an orthodontist who understands and respects the feelings teens have about braces. At Soleil Orthodontics, we understand the concerns about how braces can affect appearance, interfere with eating beloved foods, or restrict the playing of sports or other activities.
Helping Teens Accept Their Braces
There are some teens who hit the DNA jackpot and end up with perfect teeth. But most teenagers have crooked teeth before braces, so that means your teen is in good company if braces are recommended.
One of the best ways to help teens get used to the idea of braces is to clearly explain the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Yes, there will be a straight, gorgeous smile at the end of it, but there will also be better oral health.
When teeth are straight, they are easier to clean, which means less risk of developing cavities. Aligned teeth also mean the jaw is properly situated, which sets a teen up for good TMJ health in the future and minimizes the likelihood of grinding or clenching teeth.
5 Benefits of Modern Teen Braces
While most teens grumble about braces, they may be thinking of photos of their parents wearing braces, or television programs that make braces look worse than they are simply for entertainment value.
Here is the reality: Braces are far easier to wear today than they once were, and here’s why:
- Teen braces are much less noticeable than treatment used decades ago.
- Teen braces are specially designed to straighten teeth faster.
- Modern braces move teeth more gently, but just as effectively.
- Braces can be personalized using different color brackets and bands.
- Some forms of braces can be practically invisible.
Types of Braces for Teens
Many teens don’t realize that they do have options when it comes to braces. The positioning of the teeth now and the kind of treatment that is necessary to fully align the smile will impact the types of orthodontics a teen is eligible for but, in general, the options include:
- Traditional metal braces.
- Clear braces.
- White ceramic braces.
- Lingual braces (attached behind the teeth).
- Invisalign Teen.
Overbite, underbite, open bite, crooked teeth, gapped teeth – these oral health concerns can all be fixed with orthodontic treatment. How the treatment commences will depend on the patient and their unique needs. The bottom line is this: Every adolescent’s smile can be straightened with braces for teens. It’s merely a matter of finding the best, most effective treatment.
Is Your Teen a Good Candidate for Invisalign Teen?
Your teen has undoubtedly done some research about braces, and likely identified the advantages of Invisalign Teen. The good news is that Invisalign can correct just about any problem that can be fixed with traditional braces. Whether your teen is eligible for Invisalign Teen, however, will depend on where their teeth are positioned now and whether they had any orthodontic treatment when they were kids.
Invisalign treatment is customized to the patient, just like any type of orthodontics. The series of aligners are designed at the beginning of treatment and intended to move a few teeth at a time until teeth are in complete alignment.
Invisalign Teen is a commitment, and the wearer must keep up with the orthodontist’s plan when it comes to changing aligners and wearing them for 20 to 22 hours a day. Some parents may worry that their teen is not ready for the responsibility of Invisalign when, in fact, research has shown that teens are some of the most motivated and well-behaved Invisalign wearers. They realize the true value of navigating an adolescence without the stress of traditional metal braces.
Committing to Braces for Teens
All braces are a commitment, whether they are permanently positioned on a teen’s teeth or removable. Treatment typically lasts 18 to 24 months and is punctuated by visits to your Woodinville orthodontist every six to eight weeks.
There are factors that will influence the type of orthodontic treatment needed. If your teen had interceptive orthodontics as a kid, braces for teens should be significantly reduced to finalize the bite and alignment. If your child has lost all baby teeth and have gotten their 12-year molars, orthodontic treatment can usually get underway. Timing all depends on your teen’s unique oral health, dental development, and oral growth.
Contact Dr. Soleil Roberts to schedule your teen’s evaluation and learn more about braces for teens.