Bellevue Orthodontist

Braces for Teens: Exploring the Options

BY Dr. Rooz Khosravi

Teen Braces: Embracing the Teenage Years Power to Build a Confident Smile

Teen braces are more than just a path to a new smile; they are a journey towards improved self-esteem and oral health. Whether choosing Invisalign, metal, ceramic, or lingual braces, the teenage years are an ideal time to address orthodontic treatment needs leading to potential tooth decay or gum disease. With proper care, including regular oral hygiene and the use of a mouthguard for sports, teens can complete their orthodontic treatment successfully with a perfect smile.

Exploring Types of Braces for Teens

Orthodontic treatment has evolved, offering various types of braces to suit different needs and preferences. Ceramic braces, similar to metal braces but made from tooth-colored ceramic material, and lingual braces, positioned behind the teeth, provide more discreet treatment options. Each type has its own advantages in terms of aesthetics, cost, and treatment time, making it important to discuss these options during a free consultation.

Here are the choices of braces for teens:

  1. Ceramic braces
  2. Metal braces
  3. Lingual Braces (Braces behind the teeth)
  4. Invisible Braces (clear aligners)

Invisalign: An Esthetic Path to Straighter Teeth

Clear aligner treatment known as Invisalign is a popular orthodontic treatment among teens, offering a series of custom-made, clear aligners that gently shift teeth into the correct position. It is a common believe that unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign allows for better oral hygiene, as they can be removed for flossing and brushing. This is somewhat true yet patients with aligners not maintaining a good oral hygiene face major rampant tooth decays and gum diseases. This option is ideal for self-conscious teens, aiming to improve their smile without metal brackets and wires. Compliance in wearing the aligners and maintaining oral hygiene is the key to a successful treatment.

Metal Braces: Traditional and Effective

Metal braces have been the most common type of braces for many years, known for their effectiveness in treating various dental issues like overbite and crooked teeth. Comprising metal brackets, archwire, and elastic bands, they are a go-to option for orthodontists when crafting a teen’s treatment plan. Despite their visibility, they offer a cost-effective solution for achieving a perfect smile.

With advances in digital technology, traditional metal braces has changes. Custom digital braces are a modern version of metal braces. The digital braces come in two formats: (i) custom brackets, or (ii) custom robotic bent wires.

Lingual Braces: Truly Invisible choice

Lingual braces offer a completely invisible braces option as they are attached to the back side of the teeth, making them an excellent choice for teens who are self-conscious about their appearance. Custom-made for each patient, they correct the position of teen’s teeth without the visibility of traditional braces. This is great braces choice for teens who are not interested in challenges associated with Invisalign treatment option.

A Free Consultation to answer all your questions

A free consultation with our orthodontist is the ideal time for teens and their parents to learn about treatment options, costs, and expected treatment time. During this session, the orthodontist will perform an oral exam, take x-rays, and discuss the teen’s oral health to determine the most effective treatment plan.

Navigating the cost of braces for your teen can seem daunting, but a free consultation with an orthodontist can help you with this. During the consultation, our orthodontist will examine your teen’s teeth and make a treatment plan depending on the condition of their oral health, including any overbite issues. Traditional metal braces, with metal brackets, are the most common type of orthodontic treatment due to their efficacy in delivering straighter teeth, and often, they are the least expensive option. Ceramic braces, which are tooth-colored, offer a more discreet alternative, albeit at a slightly higher cost. Clear braces, such as Invisalign, provide a nearly invisible method using custom-made clear aligners, but tend to be priced higher than traditional braces. Lingual braces, fitted on the inner side of the teeth, offer the highest level of discretion, but come with a steeper price tag due to the custom-made nature of the braces. Regardless of the type of braces chosen, it’s important to note that the overall cost will include the price of a retainer to maintain the perfect smile after the treatment time. Costs can vary widely based on these treatment options, but investing in your teen’s braces during their teenage years is a worthwhile investment towards their confident, perfect smile.

FAQs on Braces in Teens

What are the different types of braces available for teens?

Teens can choose from several types of braces depending on their needs and preferences. The most common types include traditional metal braces, known for their effectiveness and cost-efficiency; ceramic braces, which are similar to metal braces but made from a tooth-colored ceramic material for a more discreet look; Invisalign (clear aligners), which consists of a series of clear, custom-made aligners for invisible correction; and lingual braces, which are attached to the back of the teeth, making them invisible from the front.

How do I know if my teen needs braces?

If your teen has dental issues such as crooked teeth, deep overbite, openbite, excessive overjet, they might need braces. The ideal way to determine this is by scheduling a free consultation with an orthodontist, who will conduct an oral exam, take x-rays, and evaluate your teen’s oral health to recommend the best treatment plan.

What is the importance of a free consultation before starting orthodontic treatment?

A free consultation is crucial as it allows the orthodontist to assess the teen’s oral health and discuss different treatment options, costs, and expected treatment time. It also gives families an opportunity to ask questions and understand the commitment involved in orthodontic treatment.

How can teens maintain oral hygiene with braces?

Maintaining oral hygiene is essential during orthodontic treatment to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Teens with braces should brush their teeth after every meal and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth and braces. Using a mouthguard during sports can also protect the braces and teeth from damage.

What are the benefits of teen braces beyond just a straighter smile?

Beyond achieving a straighter smile, braces can significantly improve a teen’s oral health and self-esteem. Correctly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, a new smile can boost a teen’s confidence and self-esteem, positively impacting their social and personal life.