Why orthodontic treatment matters for teens
Braces…a teenage rite of passage. After all, the teen years are difficult enough without having to face them with a less than perfect smile. Braces for teens ensure not only a lifetime of happier, more self-confident smiles, but also teeth and jaws that are properly aligned, promoting better oral and physical health.
Right now, your teen is at the ideal age for addressing orthodontic concerns, since it’s easier to reposition teeth and jaws while they’re still growing. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for orthodontic problems to resolve on their own. Once facial growth is complete, treatment can be more difficult and costly. Your teen may also feel more comfortable addressing problems at a time when friends are undergoing similar treatment.
Just think how important a healthier, more confident smile can be throughout your child’s life—in daily selfies, graduation photos, during that first job interview, and on their wedding day, for example.
Braces for teens offer important health benefits, too
A more attractive smile is just one of the many benefits of braces for teens. In addition to building self-esteem and helping your child feel more self-confident with a smile that looks better, having properly aligned teeth can actually improve speech, chewing, breathing, sleeping, and overall health.
Straighter teeth are also less prone to tooth decay, gum disease, and injuries which can add up to significant savings on dental costs over time. And by increasing jaw mobility, orthodontics for your teenager can spare your child a lifetime of pain and headaches that can come from a misaligned bite.
Who needs braces?
Does your teen have an overbite, overcrowded teeth, protrusions, or gaps between teeth? If so, it’s time for an evaluation by a specialized orthodontist. Braces for teens can correct these common orthodontic problems and also any underlying issues that only an orthodontist is trained to detect.
To ensure the ideal timing for orthodontic treatment for your child, the American Association of Orthodontists® recommends an initial orthodontic evaluation around the age of 7. This way, any potential concerns can be monitored to ensure they’re addressed at the most appropriate time, which usually is between 12 to 16 years of age. However, anytime you have concerns about your teen’s smile is the right time for an orthodontic evaluation.
What are the different kinds of dental braces for teens?
Thankfully, there are now more orthodontic treatment options and different kinds of braces for teenagers than ever before. Your Prairie Grove orthodontist will help you determine the right choice for your child, based on your goals, needs and lifestyle.
When it comes to braces for teenagers, conventional metal braces have long been one of the most effective treatments for most orthodontic problems. However, many teens are particularly concerned about their appearance and social status at this time in life, so you may also want to consider more discreet options such as ceramic braces or Invisalign® clear aligners.
There are pros and cons to each treatment option. Your Prairie Grove orthodontist will consult with you to help you determine the best option for your teen.
Conventional metal braces
Braces are the tried-and-true treatment option that has been used for more than a century to deliver exceptional outcomes. Modern braces are more discreet than ever and can correct the widest array of dental issues including concerns with both the tooth and jaw alignment.
Invisalign® clear aligners
Invisalign® clear aligner treatment uses 3D images of your teen’s teeth to create a succession of custom-fit, see-through trays that slowly move teeth into the correct alignment and position. Teens who are self-conscious about their appearance often prefer this less obvious form of treatment. Since the aligners can be easily removed, they are also a great choice for teens who play sports, are in the band, or may not want to give up their favorite hard and sticky foods.
This type of braces for teenagers replaces metal brackets with ceramic to mimic the natural teeth color, making it a good alternative for teens concerned about their appearance. Ceramic braces boast the same features as metal braces. Make sure to properly clean ceramic braces since the clear ties used on the brackets can stain by eating certain foods.
When to see an orthodontist
Your teen should see an orthodontist if he or she experiences any of the following problems:
- Self-esteem or self-confidence issues stemming from their smile
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Too much space between teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
- Teeth that meet abnormally
- Jaws that shift or make noises
To make your teen’s initial evaluation easier, Prairie Grove Orthodontics offers a no-cost consultation that includes a complimentary exam, free digital X-rays, a 3D scan, and one-on-one time with the doctor to personalize a braces or Invisalign® treatment plan to get your teen the smile results you both want, while easily fitting into the way your teen lives. We do this all in a single visit to our office, because we believe in convenience, simplicity, and most importantly—the value of your time. Simply schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation today—no dentist referral is necessary. Schedule now!