Is it time to consider braces? If you’re a teen who’s searching for teeth straightening solutions, or you’re the parent to a teen who may need braces, it’s important to learn more so you can decide whether it’s right for your situation. There are a number of situations in which braces are the best choice for teeth straightening. Here’s what you need to know about braces for teens.
Why Would a Teen Need Braces?
The reasons that teenagers may need braces are quite varied and can include all of the following circumstances.
- Crowded mouth: when there are too many teeth in the mouth, causing overlapping and other issues
- Gaps between teeth: gaps between teeth can happen anywhere in the mouth, but are usually in the front
- Overbite: when the top row of teeth completely overlap the bottom ones when the mouth is closed
- Underbite: when the bottom teeth completely overlap the top ones with the mouth closed
- Open bite: the teeth don’t touch at all with the mouth closed
- Crossbite: when teeth in both upper and lower arches are misaligned
Some teens may have more than one issue, for example, it’s possible to have both crowded mouth and overbite at the same time. Braces are often an excellent solution for teens with these issues because they can gradually reposition the teeth to exactly where they need to be for optimal positioning. Braces are very effective in teenagers because most teens don’t have a fully developed jaw yet. This makes it much easier to shift the jaw than it would be in an adult with an already fully formed jaw.
Types of braces available
Pearson Orthodontics offers two types of braces for teens: metal braces and ceramic braces. Metal braces consist of brackets on every tooth, with a thin wire running through the brackets. The wire helps realign the teeth using gradual pressure on the brackets. Tiny rubber bands called ligatures help adjust the jaw properly. Rubber bands are replaced during visits to Pearson Orthodontics, and they’re available in a variety of colors.
Metal braces are reliable for teen teeth straightening, and they’re also the most reasonably priced type of braces. But, they’re also quite prominent on the teeth which is why many teens want ceramic braces. Ceramic braces consist of the same kind of bracket, wire, and ligature system that metal braces do, with one significant difference: the brackets are clear. This makes ceramic braces considerably less prominent on the teeth, and that aesthetic benefit is worth paying more for some patients.
Braces and the Teen Lifestyle
There are some concerns that are prominent among teens when it comes to braces, so many teens wonder how braces can fit into their lifestyle. Quite well, actually: braces can be highly effective as long as the patient is committed. This includes adjustments including:
- Sports: when playing sports, braces wearers need a protective mouthguard to prevent potential braces and mouth damage
- Hygiene: brushing and flossing is more important than ever, and teens must commit to taking the time to clean thoroughly
- Diet: teens need to be careful about braces damage while eating. The main foods to avoid include hard, sticky, chewy foods, and foods that you’ve got to bite into such as apples or raw carrots. Other foods that can present particular problems include popcorn (those loose kernels can break brackets), raw celery, ice, and gum.
Braces Care for Teens
Taking care of braces properly helps you avoid plaque accumulation around the braces brackets, tartar growth after the plaque hardens, and cavities. In the beginning, teens need to spend a little extra time getting used to a new brushing routine. An interdental brush can be helpful after regular brushing because it gets under the wires with ease. Dr. Pearson can teach you flossing techniques for braces, and you may opt for specially made disposable flossers for braces.
Of course, good braces care includes visits to Pearson Orthodontics so Dr. Pearson can make adjustments or corrections as needed. Most teens see Dr. Pearson for braces appointments around every 4-6 weeks.