Braces For Teens: Creating Confident Smiles
What To Expect With Braces For Teens
At Lanier Orthodontics, we take a conservative view of orthodontic treatment and offer comprehensive, all-around care. We value preventive care and early treatment when it’s needed so that your teen can start life with a healthy smile and confidence.
A consultation with Dr. Gass is the first step in getting braces. During this appointment, he will look at your teeth and decide if braces are the best choice for you. If so, he will talk to you about the different kinds of braces and help you decide which one is best for you. Usually, treatment has two parts: the active phase, when the braces are worn, and the retention phase, when a retainer is worn to keep the teeth from moving back to where they were before. During treatment, your teen will regularly meet with Dr. Gass to adjust the tightness of the braces and ensure treatment is progressing as it should.
Most people with braces have to wear them for about one to two years, but the length of treatment depends on the person. You can get great results from your braces treatment if you do what Dr. Gass says and go to all of your appointments.
Types Of Braces Available
Traditional Metal Braces
These braces are made entirely of metal, with stainless steel being the most common material. In addition, some options may include thin rubber bands for securing the wires on each bracket. During treatment, you can personalize your smile by selecting from a variety of colored bands.
Despite being the most noticeable option, traditional metal braces remain one of the most popular and affordable options for teeth and bite alignment. They are both durable and effective at treating all orthodontic issues.
If your teen needs braces but doesn’t want everyone to notice, clear ceramic braces may be the best option for them. Ceramic braces perform the same functions and resemble metal braces in appearance. For both types of braces, brackets, wires, and ligatures (rubber bands used to regulate force) are standard equipment.
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional ones, except that they are made from a ceramic material designed to blend in with the natural tooth color, making them less noticeable. They are just as effective as metal brackets at achieving the desired correction.
Braces can be made in any color and design you like. With their stylish gold-plated brackets, gold braces aren’t just long-lasting and efficient; they also let you flaunt your individuality and keep your gorgeous smile even after treatment is complete.
Self-ligating metal braces are bonded to your teeth using a similar process as traditional braces. However, instead of using ligature ties to hold the archwire in place, these braces feature sliding door technology that allows your archwires to work longer and faster, leading to few appointments. While color ligatures are not recommended with these braces, they can still be used in some cases, allowing for both the fun experience of colors with all the benefits of self-ligating braces.
Life With Braces
Regardless of when a patient receives orthodontic treatment, getting used to the new orthodontic appliances may initially seem challenging. But with the right support and dedication, getting accustomed to life with braces is simple and promotes better oral health.
Foods To Avoid
To protect their braces, teeth, and comfort, your teen needs to stay away from sticky, hard, and chewy foods. Taffy, hard candies, crunchy nuts, popcorn, chewing gum, and sports drinks should all be avoided while receiving treatment.
Make inventive, healthy food choices in their place during treatment! For instance, you can make delicious, guilt-free mashed potatoes, experiment with fun yogurt creations, and discover new smoothie flavors.
Sports With Braces
When teens get traditional braces, mouth protection during sports or other athletic activities is another common concern. Protective mouth gear can keep you from getting hurt during contact sports and other high-impact activities. Choose mouthguards for teens with braces that fit well for the most comfort.
Oral Hygiene Routine
Cleaning and caring for your braces properly is one of the biggest adjustments that comes with having braces. With fixed brackets or traditional braces, teens should carefully brush their teeth to remove harmful bacteria and stop tooth and gum damage.
Use threaded or water flossers to clean the areas that are difficult to reach around brackets and underwires. Your teen will receive detailed instructions from our staff at Lanier Orthodontics on how to take care of their teeth and braces while undergoing treatment.