The early teenage years are a critical time in dental development. As the teeth transition from primary “baby” teeth to permanent “adult” teeth, it is important that the adult teeth have sufficient space to erupt normally. Space discrepancies at this age can result in crowding, misalignment, rotations or impactions. This is also a critical time for social development, and a great smile goes a long way in helping to build confidence and self-esteem.
Traditional metal braces are the most common appliances used to straighten the teeth at this stage, and can be personalized with colored elastics. In certain cases, teens can opt to have ceramic brackets or clear aligners to move teeth.
Currently, the most popular types of braces used in include:
Metal Braces – These are traditional braces most often seen in children and teenagers. Metal braces are the most affordable and use a system of brackets and wires to move the teeth over time.
Ceramic Braces – These braces work like traditional metal braces, except that the brackets bonded to the teeth are made of ceramic. This helps prevent staining, and they can also be color-matched to blend with the teeth.
Did you know…
that you do not have to have crooked teeth to benefit from braces? Even patients with a little bit of crowding can benefit from orthodontic treatment. When the teeth are properly aligned, patients can better clean between the teeth, preventing decay and gum disease. Furthermore, teeth that are optimally aligned can help remedy malocclusion complications, such as headaches.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need braces?
Only you and your dentist can determine whether braces are right for you. However, chances are you could benefit from treatment if your teeth are crooked, overlapping or protruding. Schedule an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist for more information.
What should I expect while I have braces?
You will have certain dietary restrictions with most types of braces except Invisalign. Some foods, such as hard, sticky and chewy foods, can have an adverse effect on braces and damage the brackets and wires. You will also need to make frequent office visits to have wires tightened. If you have Invisalign, there are no dietary restrictions, as the orthodontic trays are fully removable when eating. You’ll also be able to switch to a new Invisalign tray every few weeks without visiting your dentist.
What happens when my orthodontic treatment is complete?
When you have completed your treatment, you will have your braces removed and be given a retainer. The retainer must be worn at all times initially to help preserve the new placement of your teeth. As time progresses, you may be able to begin wearing your retainer only at night