Adding teen braces to the emotional and physical rollercoaster of adolescence may seem like a death sentence to many teens. At a time when image seems so important, the thought of having metal brackets and wires constantly attached to teeth may outweigh the ultimate benefit of a straight and beautiful smile.
Dental braces also have a reputation for causing discomfort and affecting speech.
How Do Teen Braces Work?
In their entirety, braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bony tooth socket reabsorbs and changes shape as pressure is applied. The time required for treatment varies from person to person depending on the severity of the problem.
Braces usually remain in place from one to three years. After braces are removed, the teen will need to wear a retainer all the time for the first six months and then only during sleep for several years.
Fashion Young Adults Braces
There are many choices when braces are prescribed for young adults. Sometimes they even become a fashion statement.
The brackets (piece on the tooth) that generally hold the wires in place come in many shapes, colors and materials. Wires and bands also come in numerous colors and materials as well. The orthodontist can even provide a new look for every holiday, season or trend that a teen likes.
Teen Braces Invisible Options
Before your teen plans to swear off smiling for a few years, let them know that there are dental braces options to help ease their concerns:
– The Invisalign System has the same result as the standard dental braces while eliminating some of their traditionally frustrating aspects. A patient wears a series of custom-fit, clear aligners. They change them every few weeks to shift teeth into desired position.
– Lingual braces are another option that can be virtually invisible when smiling. The braces are placed behind the teeth. Lingual brackets are also made of metal.
– Another option is ceramic brackets made of composite materials. They are very strong and generally, the ligatures (tiny rubber bands) do not stain. The ceramic brackets are popular because they ‘blend in’ with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal.
Young Adults Braces Transition
It is important that the dentist or orthodontist listen to the needs of the teen. Ask about how pain is treated. Keep soft foods in the house so there will be something to eat after appointments if their braces are causing discomfort.
Regular dental visits are important in keeping teeth and gums healthy to prevent future oral problems from improper care of the braces.