You want the best for your teen. And that includes a healthy mouth. Even though you’re advocating for clean, well-flossed, professionally cared-for teeth, your child may only be thinking about their appearance.
Here’s where braces come in. Straightening their teeth can make your child more comfortable – both physically and psychologically. The cosmetic results that braces offer can boost your teen’s self-confidence, giving them a standout smile they’re not afraid to share.
If your child wants orthodontia, understanding the options is the first step to their straight-teeth success. Take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about braces.
What Orthodontia Options Are Available?
Long gone are the days when clunky metals brackets and wires were the way for all orthodontic patients. There are several different orthodontic options, depending on your child’s teeth, needs and goals.
Some patients are okay with wearing traditional braces. Even though these still use the same bracket and wire design that you might have had as a teen, the modern version is lighter and less chunky.
If cosmetic appearance is a concern, ceramic braces are an alternative. These use brackets that are clear, and not made from silver (noticeable) metal. If these are still too noticeable for your teen, clear aligners may be the way to go.
What Benefits Do Clear Aligners Offer?
Clear aligners are the least noticeable type of orthodontic device. Like the name says, these are clear trays that align your teen’s teeth. Instead of keeping the same tray in for the duration of your teen’s treatment, this process requires multiple aligners that are swapped out as the process progresses.
Along with the obvious aesthetic benefits that clear aligners bring, your teen may enjoy this pick for other reasons. The trays are removable, meaning that your teen can take them out to eat. This helps your child to enjoy their meals and eliminates the risk of unsightly food particles and pieces getting stuck in their braces.
Clear aligners may also be preferable for teens who play sports. Your teen can remove the tray and replace it with a mouth guard, saving their teeth from possible injury. This is an option if your teen plays a contact sport (such as football or wrestling) or you have concerns about your child’s ability to keep their teeth safe during gameplay.
How Should Teens Care for Their Braces?
The answer to this question depends on the type of braces that they choose. Traditional bracket and wire braces often make regular dental care more of a challenge. Your child will need to brush and floss around the wires, while still making sure that their teeth are well cared for.
Using clear aligners makes daily dental hygiene somewhat easier than what you’d expect with the traditional type of braces. Your teen will remove the aligner tray and brush and floss as they normally would. They’ll then put the tray back in to continue the straightening process.
Keep in mind, professional dental cleanings don’t end when your child gets braces. Even though your child may need to visit the office often for orthodontic check-ups or to adjust their braces, your teen still needs to see the dentist for bi-annual cleanings and preventative care.
How Old Is Old Enough for Braces?
Many children start orthodontic consultations when their permanent teeth come in, between 7 and 10-years old. Every child is different, meaning that your child will likely need braces at a different time than someone else.
The dental professional will evaluate your child, making sure that their mouth is at the right developmental stage for braces to work successfully.
Does your child want or need braces? Family Dental Center can help make your teen’s cosmetic dentistry dreams come true. Contact us for an appointment.