Looking into braces for teens can be challenging, and we want to do everything we can to make this adjustment as easy as possible. This is one reason Brodie Bowman Orthodontics of Niceville and Fort Walton Beach, FL offer several discreet options to help our patients feel good about their braces.
What Are the Least Visible Braces for Teens?
When it comes to braces for teens, looking for options that aren’t as noticeable can help them feel more confident about their braces. Clear braces can handle a range of dental corrections but have clear brackets instead of metal ones. Some patients find that in addition to blending into their smile, this also helps clear braces look more modern.
Good Candidates for Clear Braces
The best way to tell if your teen is a good candidate for any treatment is to visit us in person so we can offer direct, individually-tailored advice. That said, clear braces may be a good fit for patients who want the corrective power of metal braces without the metal look. It’s especially common to use clear braces on the top teeth.
Benefits of Clear Braces
Securely in Place
We offer both clear braces and clear aligners, and one of the most exciting benefits of clear aligners is they allow the patient to take them out as needed. In some cases, however, this removability might actually cause stress. The patient may be concerned that they could lose their aligner and set back their treatment time.
Clear braces offer some of the same visual benefits that clear aligners do, but braces are safely and securely glued in place. You can’t remove them, which also means you can’t lose them. For teenagers that are concerned about misplacing their aligners, clear braces could be a good compromise.
Mini-diamond braces are metal braces, but the brackets are smaller. This helps improve the comfort and appearance of metal braces at the same time, as these little braces often look less clunky and allow more of the patient’s natural teeth to show when they smile.
Good Candidates for Mini-Diamond Braces
Mini-diamond braces are a great option if you want to combine effectivity, comfort, and a sleek appearance. Like traditional braces, you shouldn’t have to worry about discoloration with mini-diamonds. They also have a very similar treatment timeline to traditional braces.
Benefits of Mini-Diamond Braces
One benefit of metal braces is their strength. Metal wire and brackets are known to be quite durable, which gives them a wide range of corrective power while offering peace of mind for active patients. Choosing mini-diamond braces may help reduce stress about having to deal with a damaged bracket or wire, although, if this does happen, we will be ready to help!
Some patients view metal braces as being outdated. Mini-diamond braces can combine the trustworthy strength and corrections traditional braces are known for with improved comfort and appearance. Far from being outdated, these powerful little braces can carry out treatment in style.
Some patients, depending on their corrective needs, can forgo braces altogether and opt for clear aligners like Invisalign, instead. Invisalign aligners can be slipped over the teeth and are completely clear. While looking into braces for teens, if one of your teen’s primary concerns is how their braces will look in pictures, the great news about Invisalign is it should be almost impossible to see these aligners in pictures.
Good Candidates for Invisalign
Once we evaluate the type of dental corrections your teen needs, we can let you know if aligners are a good fit for the job. If they are, we will be able to use imaging technology to get their treatment plan and their aligners custom-made for them. Invisalign aligners should be worn for at least 20 hours a day, but they can be taken out so the patient can eat whatever they’d like and clean their teeth easily.
Benefits of Invisalign
Good for Sports
Clear aligners aren’t braces, so they don’t have wires or brackets. They don’t even have any sharp edges. The smooth, comfortable plastic can help make Invisalign a perfect fit for teens that play sports. While mouth protection is always a good idea, Invisalign can make protecting your teen’s smile that much easier.
No Diet Changes
Does your teen already have a restricted diet? In those cases, having to restrict the diet any further might be discouraging. The good news is Invisalign doesn’t require any dietary restrictions, since you remove Invisalign before eating and simply clean your teeth before putting them back in.
What Are the Benefits of Getting Braces for Teens?
Crooked teeth often have areas that are very difficult to clean correctly. Tightly packed areas, or places where teeth overlap, create the perfect opportunity for bacteria, plaque, and tartar to develop and thrive. This can increase the patient’s risk of painful gum conditions such as gingivitis or early tooth decay.
Not only are corrected teeth easier to clean at home, but they’re also easier for the dentist to clean too. This can help shorten future dental appointments and even make getting crowns and fillings a simpler process. Misaligned teeth tend to wear enamel down faster, so correcting the patient’s teeth can also preserve that protective enamel and prevent uneven or premature wearing of their teeth.
In addition to having some health risks, misaligned teeth can negatively affect the patient’s comfort as well. Protruding teeth could put them at higher risk of a mouth injury, especially if your teen plays sports or enjoys physical activities. Misaligned teeth often cause the jaw to be out of balance, as issues like crossbites, overbites, and underbites can prevent the jaw from “setting” correctly.
Putting the jaw under strain can eventually lead to muscle pain in the neck, headaches, trouble sleeping, or TMJ. By intervening early, treating misalignment can help prevent some of these issues, or may improve them if the symptoms have already started.
Misaligned teeth can make the patient self-conscious about their smile. If your teen isn’t comfortable showing their teeth when they smile or are otherwise bothered by the appearance of their teeth, correcting the misalignment may help them feel more confident.
FAQ About Braces for Teens
1. How Long Do Braces Usually Take?
Patients usually will wear their braces for 12 to 24 months, but our team will be able to give you a more personalized estimate once we evaluate your teen’s dental condition. Regardless of how long the time estimate is, taking good care of the braces during treatment and coming in for regular appointments can help things go as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Proper cleaning at home can help prevent plaque and tartar from interfering with the braces. Meanwhile, coming in for follow-up appointments will help us make any minor adjustments needed to keep your teen’s treatment on track.
2. How Long Will My Teen Wear a Retainer?
Once the braces come off, a retainer can be used to protect their treatment results. Retainers help “train” the teeth to accept their new position. At first, your teen should wear their retainer full time for between three to six months. Then, they should be able to transition to wearing them only at night. We will be happy to offer guidance and advice as your teen navigates wearing their retainer.
3. How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Most patients finish their Invisalign series within 18 months, so just over a year. The more consistently the aligners are worn, the more likely your teen is to finish their treatment on schedule. Of course, every aspect of the Invisalign series is customized for each patient, and as such their timeline may be adjusted if needed to get the best results.
4. When Is the Best Time To Get Treatment?
If your teen is already showing signs of having misaligned teeth, seeking out treatment as soon as possible is recommended. Misalignment almost never improves with time, and receiving treatment early on can help your teen avoid more involved treatment later on as an adult.
Ready To Set Up Your Consultation?
Personalized advice can make picking the right braces a breeze. We can walk through the benefits each treatment offers, and you can ask any questions you have and talk about your hopes and expectations. Contact us at Brodie Bowman Orthodontics of Niceville and Fort Walton Beach, FL, today to learn more and set up your consultation.