Orthodontics for Teens
How Do Braces Fit into a Teenager’s Life?
You just heard the three words every teen dreads to hear: “You Need Braces.” Trust us, we get it. While most people are excited to have straight teeth, very few teens are excited to get braces. But you can rest assured that braces are not what they used to be. In fact, braces today come in such a large variety of styles, materials, and colors, making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past.
Teenage years (between ages 12 and 16) are a common time for orthodontic treatment. That’s because by age 12, most, if not all, of your permanent teeth have erupted. Although many teenagers undergo orthodontic treatment, some may feel uncomfortable and apprehensive about getting braces.
So, let’s answer some of your questions below.
How long will I have to wear braces?
That’s a good question. The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on a few different factors:
Early Treatment: The earlier you begin treatment, the better. Early treatment allows your orthodontist to monitor the growth of your jaw and recommend any additional treatment if it becomes necessary. Nonetheless, not everyone receives early orthodontic treatment, and in some cases, it may be recommended that the patient wait until they are older to receive treatment.
What Needs Correction: The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will directly affect how long the treatment takes. Different patients react differently to treatments, so while one patient may only take 12 months, another might need 24 months for treatment. Treatment times can vary depending on how your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the all-star smile you expect.
YOU! Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontists gives you plays a major role in the length of your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; your care during treatment will help make your treatment shorter.
Will my braces be uncomfortable?
We know there is a lot of pressure for teens to look good. The confidence that comes with a beautiful smile shouldn’t be masked during the corrective process. That is why Dr. Hough offers a wide variety of options for correcting “bad bites” or crooked teeth. These include Invisalign Teen, self-ligating braces, as well as a much smaller traditional style bracket. So, while you may have minor discomfort the first few days after beginning initial treatment, the rest of your treatment you should have very little discomfort.
Do I have to give up eating my favorite foods?
Not necessarily. Obviously there are some specific foods to avoid while wearing braces like crunchy and sticky foods and sugary carbonated drinks. For a list of foods to avoid, click here. The important thing to remember is that these eating restrictions are not permanent. As soon as you are finished with treatment you may resume eating all your favorites on the no-no list.
Keep in mind that every smile and face are unique. Once Dr. Hough assesses your oral health and orthodontic needs, he will recommend an individualized treatment plan.