Having braces for kids can correct early dental alignment problems. Correcting this orthodontic treatment can give your child a good start in dental and general health. Knowing everything about this treatment can help you and your child prepare for it. Here are the details on getting ahead with braces for kids when it comes to…
Options for Orthodontic Treatment for Teens
A trip to the orthodontist is a rite of passage for many teenagers. Adolescence can be difficult enough without struggling with their smile in key moments like going to prom and having their photos taken for the yearbook. Orthodontic treatment for teens can not only provide a straighter smile but can also benefit their everyday function and social lives. Continue reading to learn more about effective orthodontic treatment options for teens.
When to see an orthodontist
Early orthodontic treatment is recommended for children as young as seven years old. However, there is always time for a teen to achieve a beautiful smile. Teenagers should see an orthodontist if they experience the following dental problems:
- They have difficulty biting or chewing
- They have overcrowded teeth
- They have too much space between their teeth
- Their teeth align abnormally
- Their jaw shifts or makes popping noises
- They experience self-esteem issues because of their smile
Benefits of orthodontic treatment for teens
Teens are at the ideal age for addressing orthodontic issues. Their teeth and jaws are easier to reposition as they are still developing. Unfortunately, after the facial growth is complete, orthodontic treatment is more difficult, expensive, and takes longer to heal. In addition, this treatment can help boost their self-confidence and social lives with their peers.
Other benefits of orthodontic treatment for teens include:
- Being less prone to tooth decay and gum disease
- Reducing the risk of headaches from a misaligned jaw
- Improving speech, breathing, sleeping, and chewing
Orthodontic options for teens
Traditional metal braces are the most common method of orthodontic treatment for teens. They consist of metal brackets that attach to each tooth. Then the orthodontist connects the brackets through a thin wire. These wires push and pull on the teeth, allowing them to move slowly into the proper position.
Occasionally, braces will need to be tightened to keep the teeth moving into the correct place. The orthodontist will use the tiny elastics attached to the brackets. These devices are known as ligatures or o-rings and come in different colors, which teens often enjoy choosing. They can use the colors of their high school, favorite team or color, or even seasonal-themed colors to coordinate with holidays.
Metal braces are an optimal choice for younger teens because they are flexible and can change with the teen's needs as they develop. However, metal braces are also the most noticeable. Teenagers who are shy or subconscious about their smile may prefer to avoid drawing more attention to it.
Ceramic braces work similarly to metal braces. The difference is that the brackets consist of a clear ceramic material. This means the braces are less noticeable and blend in with the teen's teeth. Unfortunately, they are more fragile, so they are more expensive than traditional braces. They also are more prone to staining. However, ceramic braces are an effective choice for teens who prefer a more discreet treatment option.
Another popular method to straighten a teen's teeth is to use clear aligners. The orthodontist will take impressions of the teen's teeth and create a customized plan for them to correct their bite and alignment over time. Every two to three weeks, the teen will replace their old aligner set with a new plastic mouthpiece worn over their teeth. Each aligner set will help move the teeth toward their proper position.
Treatment with clear aligners can take slightly longer than traditional braces. It can take a few months to 2 years, while the average time for metal braces is 18 months. However, aligners are removable and virtually invisible, making it easier for teens to eat and care for their teeth.
After braces or aligners, an orthodontist will likely recommend the teen wear a retainer. While some teens may not want to wear a retainer, this treatment method is essential to their orthodontic treatment. Once the braces are removed, the teeth will likely slide back to where they were before treatment began. A retainer can help maintain their new position. If a teen can handle the responsibility, their orthodontist will recommend a removable retainer. However, some teenagers may require a permanent, bonded retainer.
Schedule an appointment today
If you need an orthodontic treatment for teens, do not delay scheduling an appointment. Prompt treatment can ensure that they are less prone to tooth decay and gum disease and have a smile they are proud of, and can help everyday functions, such as chewing, breathing, and sleeping. If you would like to learn more about orthodontic treatment for teens, call our office today.
To learn more about orthodontic treatments for teens, visit https://www.brooklyn-orthodontist.com or call our office at (718) 416-6368 to schedule an appointment.
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An orthodontist treats issues related to jaw and teeth alignment. Continue reading to learn more about the role of orthodontic treatment in the improvement of facial shape. The primary benefits of orthodontic treatment are to achieve ideal teeth alignment and jaw bite for improved health, function, and appearance. One additional benefit of orthodontic treatment that…