Teen Braces – it’s time to get those perfect teeth!
If your child needs fixed braces, the best time to start is usually between the ages of 10-14. At this age, most of their adult teeth have come through, and their face is rapidly changing. Orthodontic treatment is enhanced due to them undergoing significant teeth and jaw development at this age.
Braces For Teens
There is more to orthodontics for teens than merely just straightening teeth. It is also essential to fully understand how faces change as teens begin to approach adulthood. This provides a critical window where we can complete effective straightening of their teeth, whilst also guide important changes to their jaws to enable the most aesthetically pleasing face and profile.
At Platinum Dental, we realise that every patient is unique. Therefore, we make sure to identify why your child’s teeth are misaligned and build a customised treatment plan to fix the cause of the issue.
We strongly believe that healthy teeth should not be removed during orthodontic treatment, as this has been shown to cause numerous problems with children’s facial growth into adult life. By keeping all healthy teeth, we help encourage ideal facial growth whilst also maintaining the correct facial profile. It is often easy to identify individuals who have had healthy teeth removed before undergoing braces since it can cause an unpleasant “sucked in” appearance of their jaw and face.
What are the most common reasons that teens seek orthodontic treatment?
How to spot that your child may need braces:
- Crowded or misplaced teeth.
- Finger or thumb sucking.
- Early or late loss of baby teeth.
- Difficulty chewing or biting food.
- Mouth breathing.
- Their jaw often makes a popping sound when opening or closing.
- An abnormal bite where the teeth don’t come together as expected.
- Their teeth and jaw are not proportionate to their face.
About one-third of all children have a demonstrable need for orthodontic treatment, and a further third are borderline cases. The causes of these widespread dental anomalies are still somewhat unclear and controversial.
What are the benefits of teen braces?
A beautiful smile helps to build confidence and boost one’s self-esteem. Studies have shown that people with more attractive smiles are often more successful in the workplace and are also more favourably responded to in social interactions.
Straight teeth also allow for better oral hygiene. It is far easier to brush and floss straight teeth than those which are crooked. Proper oral hygiene helps prevent a multitude of possible health problems, including tooth decay, grinding teeth, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Straight teeth and a correctly positioned jaw can also help reduce the risk of both jaw joint pain, as well as lower your child’s risk of developing sleep apnoea.
Some people debate whether they should delay treatment, but this can often result in the issue getting worse. If orthodontic work is left untreated, then it can create long term health issues which will usually be more expensive in the long run.
Now is the perfect time for your child to begin wearing braces. Let us help you through the process.
Digital and 3D printing Technology
3D printing capabilities bring exciting possibilities to the world of orthodontics, and Platinum Dental is proud to be on the cutting edge of this patient-friendly innovation. Our purpose in using any technology is to benefit our patients by creating an efficient treatment process.
Firstly, a digital scanner is used to create a computerised copy of your teeth, which is transferred to our advanced orthodontic software. From here, we can simulate the movement of your teeth from their current location to the desired final position that we want. We are then able to model where to place the brackets on each individual tooth. This is important since it allows us to be far more accurate than the traditional method of using the human eye to decide where the brackets should be positioned. This increase in accuracy will not only improve your comfort while wearing your braces but can also significantly speed up the treatment process, possibly reducing overall treatment length by months.
Advanced 3D Printing
After we are satisfied that we have designed the perfect braces treatment, we use our new 3D printer to manufacture a special tray that is customised specifically to you. We position your brackets within this tray and slide it over your teeth. A simple click lets us know that the tray is in the correct position, and after a couple of minutes, we remove the tray, and you will have all your brackets attached perfectly in place. No pain, no fuss. All that’s required is to thread the first wire, and your braces are ready to go.
Digital dentistry and 3D Printing are the future of accurate orthodontics. The effect of such an accurate system is a far quicker and more efficient treatment time for our patients compared to traditional bracket placement techniques.
Day to Day Life
Helping teenagers accept their braces
Some lucky teens end up with perfect teeth. Unfortunately, the number of children that require some form of orthodontics is suggested to range from 33%-66% of all kids. Fortunately, this means that a lot of teens are in good company if they do require orthodontics. Braces are a very normal part of school life, and many teens understand the importance of orthodontic treatment. Thankfully, many will have peers and friends who are also wearing braces, and this shared experience means that having braces isn’t a big deal. Teens understand that, at the end of their treatment, they are going to be able to celebrate a gorgeous new smile and the benefits that it will bring.
Are there foods that I should avoid while wearing braces?
It is important to be careful about what you eat while wearing braces since food can often become stuck in both the brackets and wires. This can not only damage the braces but will also increase the risk of cavities and buildup of tartar. We suggest that all our patients are diligent about flossing and brushing their teeth during their treatment to avoid unwanted oral hygiene issues. It’s best to limit certain food types throughout your treatment, such as:
Foods that are hard to chew: chewing gum, licorice, lollies
Crunchy: popcorn, ice
Sticky foods: caramel and other extremely sugary foods
Hard foods: nuts, lollies
Foods that can be difficult to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Biting your fingernails or chewing other hard objects can also cause damage to your braces.
How should I brush while wearing braces?
It’s is vital to take extra care brushing your teeth while wearing braces. This means taking slightly more time brushing the hard to reach areas that often get forgotten such as behind your molars and the inside and tops of your teeth.
You can clean your brackets by angling the toothbrush head against them and using a slow and gentle circular motion. Try to take extra care to make sure the brush can also clean underneath the wires.
Another good tip is to replace your toothbrush or brush head every 3 – 6 months so that it can continue to clean efficiently. An electric toothbrush can help clean your teeth more thoroughly!
If you play contact sports, then you need to make sure that you take adequate care to protect your braces and teeth from damage. Be sure to wear a fitted mouth guard at all times. Falling or being hit during sport can cause brackets to break or wires to come loose. This may cause discomfort and possibly add to the cost of your orthodontic care.
Frequently Asked Questions:
You will usually be required to visit Platinum Dental every 4-6 weeks to have your braces tightened.
The length of treatment varies from patient to patient and depends on the severity of the movement required. Some patients may complete their orthodontic treatment in as little as 6-12 months if they have a particularly simple case. More complex cases could take 12-24 months till completion. Book a consultation and speak to Dr. Lane, and she will be able to advise on the expected length of treatment time.
A retainer is necessary after orthodontic treatment to prevent your teeth from moving back to their original position. When your braces are removed, we will help to choose an effective retainer for you. This will either be a permanent metal retainer or a clear plastic retainer that you will be expected to wear only at night.
There is usually only a little discomfort when wearing braces, and it doesn’t last the entirety of your treatment. In fact, most discomfort disappears very early on during the initial treatment phase. Most patients will experience pressure on their teeth, but this is to be expected as it shows us that the braces are working and slowly moving your teeth to their new position. Occasionally your braces may rub against your inner cheek, but we can show you how to minimise or rectify this if it does happen.