For many teens, braces are a rite of passage: They’re one more example of the changes adolescents go through at this time — along with growth in stature, edgier tastes in clothes and music, and an increasing degree of self-awareness. But is there any particular reason why orthodontic appliances and teenagers seem to go together? In a word: Yes.
There are several good reasons why adolescence is the optimal time for orthodontic treatment, though occasionally even earlier intervention is called for. One has to do with the development of the teeth: There’s no set timetable for every kid, but generally by the age of 11-13 the deciduous (baby) teeth have all been lost, and the permanent ones have largely come in. This is the time when we can go to work correcting the problems that cause a bad bite (malocclusion), improper tooth spacing or poor alignment.
Orthodontic problems don’t improve with age — they simply become harder to treat. It’s easier to treat many orthodontic problems during adolescence because the body is still growing rapidly at this time. Whether we use standard braces, or appliances like palatal expanders, cervical headgear (see video below) and Forsus, we can create an improved appearance and function in a short period of time. In later years, when the bones of the face and jaw are fully developed, many conditions become more difficult (and costly) to treat.
There’s even a social element to getting orthodontic treatment in adolescence. If you need braces, you’re not alone! Chances are you’ll see some of your classmates in our office, and you may even make new friends as you go through the process together. When it’s done, you’ll have a smile that you can really be proud of, and benefits that will last your whole life.
The Orthodontic Treatment Process
What can you expect when you come in to our office for treatment? It all depends on what kind of treatment you need. The first time you come in, we will take pictures and radiographic (X-ray) images of your mouth, and possibly make a model of your bite. Then, we’ll develop a treatment plan. It may involve regular braces, with or without elastics (rubber bands). We might also recommend that you use a specialized appliance for a period of time. Here are some of the most commonly used orthodontic appliances:
Metal Braces —need no introduction. But you might be surprised to find they’re smaller and lighter than ever. They may even offer some customized options, like colored elastic ties on the brackets. Lingual Braces
Lingual Braces — offer the most unnoticeable form of orthodontic treatment because they are attached to the back (tongue side) of the teeth, where they cannot be seen at all.
Clear Braces —feature brackets made of ceramic or composite materials which blend in with your teeth, making them harder to notice. They’re suitable in many situations, but they cost a little more. Clear Aligners
Clear Aligners — for teens is a series of removable, clear plastic trays that gradually straighten teeth as they’re worn (for 22 hours per day). Formerly recommended only for adult patients, they now come with special features — like compliance indicators to tell how often you’ve been wearing them — that make them appropriate for teens in some situations. The advantage: they’re practically invisible!
Invisalign® straightens your teeth without wires and brackets, using a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. It’s virtually undetectable, which means hardly anyone will know that you’re straightening your teeth.
The Invisalign System combines advanced 3-D computer graphics technology with 100-year-old science of orthodontics. Invisalign aligners are designed to move your teeth in small steps to the desired final position prescribed by your Orthodontist.
Each aligner is precisely calibrated and manufactured to fit your mouth at each stage of the treatment plan. Your first step is to visit our office to determine if Invisalign is right for you. After sending precise treatment instructions, Invisalign uses advanced computer technology to translate these instructions in a sequence of finely calibrated aligners – as few as 12 or as many as 48. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks and only taken out to eat, brush and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next, your teeth will begin to move gradually – week-by-week until the final alignment prescribed is attained. Then you’ll be smiling like you never have before!
If you want to learn more about Invisalign and how it works, please visit the Invisalign page.
Other orthodontic appliances
may be recommended in some cases, where major tooth or jaw movement is needed. They can range from small devices that fit inside the mouth to external headgear. But don’t worry: You’ll get used to them, and they’re temporary — but they provide a long-term benefit in a short time.
How Long Will I Wear Them?
There’s no one answer that fits everyone: It all depends on what we need to do in your individual situation. Generally, however, the active stage of orthodontic treatment lasts 6-30 months. Afterwards, you will wear a retainer for another period of months. When your orthodontic treatment is complete, the new smile we’ve worked together to create will be yours for a lifetime.
BRACES FOR TEENS
ORTHODONTICS FOR TEENS
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven. By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.
EARLY TREATMENT ALLOWS YOUR ORTHODONTIST TO:
• Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
• Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
• Create more space for crowded teeth
• Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life
• Correct thumb sucking or tongue thrust and help improve minor speech problems
For parents, it’s not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment. If your child is seven or older, schedule a no cost or obligation initial exam with Specialty Smiles today!
HERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO LOOK FOR THAT MAY MEAN YOUR CHILD NEEDS TO SEE AN ORTHODONTIST
• Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight
• Protruding Upper Front Teeth (these are prone to childhood injuries)
• Crossbites (the lower teeth bite outside the top teeth)
• Early or late loss of baby teeth
• A hard time chewing or biting food
• Mouth breathing
• Severe nightly grinding
• Finger or thumb sucking
• Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth
• Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing
• Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all
• Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
Please contact Specialty Smiles to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will provide a good foundation for their developing jaws and teeth and may save them extensive and unnecessary treatment in the future.
BRACES FOR TEENS
Don’t worry! Braces aren’t nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors, making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past. In some cases, braces have actually become a status symbol!
HOW LONG WILL MY TEEN HAVE TO WEAR BRACES
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:
- Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment; in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait to receive treatment. Dr. Sedeño and Dr. Alfonso are conservative orthodontists who believe that only doing what is necessary to protect the bite, create proper function, and align a beautiful smile is always the best option.
- What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently. While it may take one patient only 12 months to complete treatment, it may take another patient 30 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect. MOST treatments last 18-24 months. Dr. Sedeño and Dr. Alfonso believe in only treating the patient for as long as necessary and take the conservative approach to treatment using higher quality wires and brackets to reduce the amount of appointments and treatment lengths.
- YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances we give you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances, wear your elastics & watch what you eat – this truly will help make your treatment shorter!
BRACES YOUR WAY!
Our practice offers a variety of braces, types and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:
• Traditional Braces
• Ceramic Braces
• Invisalign & Invisalign Teen
Orthodontics is a big part of your teens life. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today’s braces and aligners make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact Specialty Smiles to schedule an orthodontic evaluation.
Orthodontics for Teens
Braces, retainers, and everything else that you want to know about orthodontics! You’ve just heard the three words that every teen dreads: “YOU NEED BRACES!”
SCHEDULE A CONSULT TO FIND OUT MORE
Braces! What now?
Don’t worry! Braces are not nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors, making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past.
How long will I have to wear braces?
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:
Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment, and in some cases, it may be recommended that a patient wait until they are older to receive treatment.
What needs correction
The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently, so while it may take one patient only 12 months to complete their treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.
You and your braces!
Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!
Braces Your Way!
Our practice offers a variety of braces, types, and styles to choose from. Some common options include:
- Ceramic braces
- Invisible braces
- Lingual braces
- Traditional metal braces
- Clear Aligners and Invisalign
Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people your age. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today’s braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.