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The teen years are some of the most common times to get braces. If your adolescent had early interceptive orthodontics, they will likely need Phase II treatment around this time as well.
The majority of our teen braces patients wear traditional orthodontic appliances. Those are the classic “bracket and wire” systems that are held in place with small ligatures or colored bands. Their versatility makes treatment both efficient and predictable. Plus, your teen can add a pop of color to match their favorite holiday, team jerseys, or personality each time they’re due for a band change.
We recommend traditional braces for most adolescents, as there are no removable parts to keep up with or lose. Occasionally your teen may need to use elastics to further their tooth movement, so just be sure to check that they’re changing them out as prescribed.
If your teen is self-driven and finds it easy to keep up important responsibilities each day, they may make a great candidate for Invisalign Teen. Even though Invisalign was initially designed for adults, responsible teens can enjoy the same added perks of wearing a removable, translucent orthodontic system.
Invisalign Teen works the same way as traditional adult Invisalign. Your teen will wear the aligners for 22+ hours a day, removing them during mealtime and home care. The versatility of the aligners makes brushing and flossing a breeze, and there’s no need to alter your diet.
Best of all, Invisalign Teen provides an “invisible” alternative for adolescents who prefer a low-profile solution for their orthodontic needs.
Why Should My Teen Straighten Their Teeth?
Lower Risk of Injuries and Emergencies — Misaligned teeth are more likely to get injured, knocked out, and broken. Being that so many injuries (especially those related to athletic activities) impact the face, having something like an overbite or overjet can predispose your teen to a serious dental injury. Bringing their teeth into alignment with braces can lower their chances of unnecessary pain in the future.
Reduced Likelihood of Tooth Decay — Crowded and misaligned teeth are much more likely to develop cavities. If your teen or older child is having trouble with recurring tooth decay, it may be beneficial to address their risks through orthodontic treatment. Straighter teeth are easier to clean effectively, reducing the number of bacteria lurking between them. It’s a win-win for both their oral health and your pocketbook!
Self-Confidence — A person’s smile is one of the first things others notice. If your teen feels self-conscious because of crooked teeth, gaps, or other alignment issues, investing in braces can be a great morale booster. When they’re more comfortable smiling, their true personality will show.
Speech Concerns — We often think about tongue and lip positioning when it comes to speech patterns. But tooth alignment also plays a role. If teeth create excess space or impede natural movements, they can contribute to clinical speech disorders.
When is the Right Age for Braces?
Although orthodontic evaluations are recommended by age 7, many children get braces for the first time when they’re in Junior High or High School. If braces are a necessity, most will have them by age 14 or 15.
Since the mouth and jaws are still rapidly forming and developing at these ages, orthodontic treatment can be more efficient. Intercepting growth patterns and adjusting the final alignment of teeth — before they’re permanently developed — can help to “set” your child’s future adult smile.
What About Extracurricular Activities?
If your teen plays sports or is involved in the school band, there will be just a bit of a learning curve. Rest assured, they won’t be the only one. For athletes, make sure your child has a properly fitted mouthguard to help protect both their mouth and their orthodontic appliances. If they play a musical instrument, plan to avoid major orthodontic adjustments around contests or concerts.
Your teen may need a bit of encouragement when it comes to daily home care or wearing their appliances as prescribed. To ensure the shortest time in braces and to help them keep their smile straight afterward, help your teen to follow their home care instructions on a day-to-day basis.
It Starts with a Consultation
Contact Waban Dental Group to schedule an appointment. Our team will discuss possible treatments that address your teen’s orthodontic concerns. Call (617) 527-6061 today.