My teen needs Ortho treatment!! What should I expect?!

So your teen needs orthodontic treatment. Don’t worry - you’re in good hands. Teenagers are the ideal candidates for orthodontic treatments like braces as it is a time of quick growth for them. This makes it easier to shape their bite and smile during this time.

Teens can require braces to resolve numerous oral health issues like overcrowded or crooked teeth, open bite, underbite, overbite, crossbite and gaps between teeth. And while you will need a consult with Dr. Hallman to know what specifically your teen will need, here are some of the options that are available.

Treatment Options

Metal/Traditional braces

One of the most common braces for teens are the metal braces. They hold the teeth together using metal brackets and wires. The modern metal braces are smaller and less obvious as compared to older models, but they work exactly the same way. They are the least expensive option.

Ceramic/Clear braces

These are more discrete as compared to the metal braces. Though they are the same size and shape of the metal braces, the brackets of ceramic braces blend in your teen’s natural tooth color. They also correct alignment quicker.

Invisalign

Invisalign is the most comfortable option for mild cases of tooth alignment. They are nearly invisible and consists of up to 30 custom-made aligners that are designed to fit over the teeth. The aligners must be replaced every couple of weeks.

Not all of these options may be available for your teen, based on what treatment plan Dr. Hallman feels is best, but this will help keep you informed.

But how do I choose what’s best for my teen?

Let’s say Dr. Hallman gives you a choice for any of these 3 options. How do you choose? Here are a few things to consider when you are looking to make this decision.

Preference

Take your teen’s preference into consideration before making the final decision. While many teens prefer Invisalign as they are nearly invisible and doesn’t affect their appearance during special events like graduations or prom, there are some who wouldn’t mind going for the traditional metal braces. Talk to the teens and understand what they would prefer.

Understand the Care Required

You cannot eat certain foods when you have metal braces, which makes it difficult to keep up with good oral hygiene. Clear Aligners/Invisalign can be removed while eating, flossing or brushing, thus ensuring good dental practices are maintained. It is important to be clear about the care involved with each treatment option before getting anything fixed.

Consider the Teen’s Activity Level

If the teen is actively into sports, then a removable aligner would be a smarter choice than metal braces as they can take out the aligners before games. This helps in avoiding breaking the expensive orthodontic appliances. Also, if your teen frequently travels, Clear Aligners might be better as we offer Dental Monitoring and aligners mean less follow up appointments. However, if your teen’s schedule is so busy they would rather not worry about changing aligners, brackets may be the better option for them.

Consider the Cost

The prices of braces vary from one another. For instance, traditional braces are little less expensive than Clear Aligners. You must consider the costs associated with all the braces - of course, we always work with our patients to make whatever treatment plan you choose manageable for your budget.

Understand the Teen’s Responsibility Level

When the teen has braces, it matters how responsible they actually are when it comes to taking care of them. If a patient has hygiene issues, Clear Aligners/Invisalign might be a better option as it’s easier to brush/floss with aligners vs. Braces. Also, aligners can be taken out, which means teens need to have the self-discipline to wear them at least 22 hours per day. If they forget to wear the aligners, the treatment would be ineffective.

The Final Word

Hopefully this helps you make a decision on how to move forward with braces for your teen. If you have more questions, do not hesitate to call/email us - we would be happy to answer any queries you may have.