We offer MANY options for adolescents and teens to straighten their teeth.
It's a fact that most people are not born with a proper bite or well aligned teeth. As a result many people have a "great smile" that is filled with crooked teeth. We straighten teeth so that "great smiles" are filled with straight teeth. That is what makes an attractive smile. Consequently for many people orthodontic treatment is inevitable in order to have a smile that they are comfortable with.
Most adolescents and pre-teens are perfectly fine getting metal braces with which they can choose their "colors" to hold the wire to the braces. Teenagers, on the other hand, may want to improve their smile, but many teens are self-conscious about wearing braces. Fortunately for these patients, there is good news in that today there are many choices for straightening teeth besides metal braces. There are all sorts of proven treatment options available for the teenagers get a great smile as listed below:
In our office we offer the very latest, hi-tech, metal braces that are very different from braces available a generation or even a few years ago. Braces today are smaller, flatter, and more comfortable. Years of research on tooth movement has resulted in braces and wires that move teeth more efficiently resulting in patients wearing braces for less time, with less discomfort and with a better result.
Ceramic Clear Braces
A popular alternative, particularly among older teens and adults, is clear braces. We offer clear braces tailored to address your treatment needs. Clear braces combined with white wires and clear elastics ties are much less noticeable than metal brackets. Clear braces today are extremely hi tech and can work as well as metal braces. They do not discolor like the clear braces in the past and are a fine choice for patients who want their braces to be less noticeable. In specific cases we do clear braces on top and metal on the bottom.
Invisalign Teen is the most recent alternative teens have to straighten their teeth without wearing braces. Invisalign Teen is similar to adult Invisalign but has incorporated new features designed to address specific needs common and unique to teenagers.
Invisalign teen is of a series of clear custom made aligners that fit smoothly and comfortably on your teeth to gradually move them into the desired position.
BUT IT TAKES A LOT OF RESPONSIBILITY!!!
Aligners must be worn 20-22 hours every day-NO EXCEPTIONS. You must wear them all the time (except for when eating, brushing, flossing, playing sports or attending special occasions). The aligners are worn for 2 weeks and then you change to the next aligner. Office visits are typically every 6-8 weeks so we can check the progress and give you your next series of aligners. IMPORTANTLY, PLEASE REMEMBER THIS: IF YOU DON'T WEAR THEM AS PRESCRIBED–THEY DO NOT WORK!
Beyond the near invisibility of the trays, advantages of Invisalign Teen include the ability to be “braceless” for milestone events like prom and senior pictures; aligners can be removed to brush and floss so oral hygiene can be maintained; there are no restrictions on eating and drinking; teenagers can keep up their active lifestyle, play sports and smile during social activities; this system often requires fewer office visits, shorter appointments, and there are typically no "emergency" visits.
The cost is typically about the same as traditional braces.
In summary, Invisalign Teen can effectively correct crowded teeth, widely spaced teeth and other orthodontic problems and for the right patient be a good alternative to traditional braces. But like any removable orthodontic appliance, teeth can only move teeth if the trays are worn as prescribed.
All viable options specific to your treatment will be presented to you by Dr. Meyer at your initial exam where they will answer your questions including those regarding alternatives to braces that exist.
Parents can help make teeth straightening a positive experience for their teen by taking a few simple steps.:
Talk it out with your child
When you talk with your teenager about braces, you may find that having them focus on the long- term benefits of wearing braces can be challenging because many of us are concerned only about today and not about the consequences in the future. If your child has this type of personality, they may view orthodontic treatment as a problem in their life today, rather than the means to correct a problem that might affect them as they get older and start dating or apply for job that requires them to have a nice smile.
As a parent, you can help them focus on the longer term and get them to visualize themselves with a fantastic smile in year or two! Sometimes having your child see a celebrity or even a friend with a fantastic smile to prove and help convince a teen of the benefit of wearing braces now.
Understand your options
Teens today have choices. As discussed above, many patients have different options available to them. It is our mission that you and your child understand treatment options available so that you may make the best informed decision. We have found that ultimately patients of any age want what is best for them and allowing teens to take an active part in the responsibility for their own treatment decision, they become more willing participants and better patients.
For teenagers now is a great time to have orthodontic treatment to get the perfect smile that will last a lifetime. This is the time that many of your friends will be having treatment and teenage patients recognize quickly that wearing braces at this time in their life is common, socially acceptable and in their best interest. Furthermore, orthodontic correction often requires modifying jaw growth in one, two or all three planes of space. This requires growth. Once growth is complete, our ability to achieve a perfect result is impossible and we must find an acceptable compromise, extract teeth, or even consider jaw surgery.
What if you put it off? Not fixing crooked teeth can cause serious dental problems that may worsen over time. Tooth decay, gum problems and even tooth loss can occur if orthodontic problems are left uncorrected. Just as important are the emotional aspects to a person who is self-conscious of their smile. Teenagers who are unhappy about the appearance of their teeth may purposely hide their smile or not smile at all and their self-esteem may suffer.