Teenage patients and their parents have quite a few choices to make when it comes to orthodontic treatment. In addition to metal braces, they might also want to consider clear aligners or other options. When it comes to braces for teens, it is a good idea to know the options available for orthodontic correction before making a final decision.
The Importance of Treating Malocclusion
A misaligned smile will do much more than affect your child’s confidence. Studies continue to show us that untreated malocclusion will increase their risk of many of the most common oral health problems, including gum disease, tooth decay and TMJ. Facial deformations are another side effect of malocclusion that many patients do not consider. This is why it is absolutely vital to begin speaking with our orthodontist as quickly as possible. Even if the treatments will not begin immediately, catching these issues early could prevent permanent damage to your child’s teeth and gums.
Metal Braces for Teens
Metal braces are not the most eye-catching option, but they are durable, affordable and effective. Depending on the severity of the misalignment, most patients can expect to have their metal braces on for one to three years. Once the braces are off, patients then need to wear a retainer for the rest of their lives. During the treatment, appointments must be made every few weeks to have the braces tightened.
Clear Aligners for Teens
Clear aligners like Invisalign® have become extremely popular in recent years and are a great option for many teens. Unlike metal and ceramic braces for teens, these trays are made with medical-grade polyurethane. Once the aligners are covering the patient’s teeth, they are nearly invisible and many people completely forget they are in their mouth.
Younger patients who decide on clear aligners must leave the trays in their mouth for at least 22 hours a day to keep their treatment on the right track. However, the aligners can be taken out for a special event, such as prom or graduation. New trays will be sent to the patient every two weeks as their teeth continue to move.
Making a Decision
Teens and their parents will need to speak with our orthodontist about all of their options before making a final decision. During your teen’s appointment at the office of Dr. Brodie Bowman, our skilled orthodontist will carefully inspect his or her teeth, gums and jaws to see exactly what changes need to be made. Our offices are conveniently located in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your teenager.