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Brace Yourself: What Parents Need to Know About Braces For Teens

What’s the first thing you notice about a person? Almost 30% of people say that the first thing they notice about someone is their smile and teeth. Knowing that makes it clear that having a great smile is important.

For many people, having a great smile means getting braces. Around 80% of people undergoing orthodontic treatment are under the age of 18. The teenage years are the best time to get braces because the body is still growing and allows for slightly easier adjustment.

Getting braces doesn’t have to be scary or be a mystery. Read on to find out more about braces and getting braces for teens.

History of Braces

Braces may seem like modern medicine, but proof of such techniques go all the way back to ancient Egypt. The world of orthodontia has continued to see growth year after year, with less invasive procedures and hardware being introduced even still today.

Ancient Egyptian mummies have been found with metal wrapped around their teeth. Additionally, there have been documents discovered which discuss how to straighten misaligned teeth and file misshapen teeth.

Types of Braces

As orthodontic technology improves, the types of braces available to the general public evolves. No longer do we see the mortifying headgear of years past. Braces have developed and can be extremely discreet.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are the most popular option for most. They’re the most cost-effective, and the method is tried and true. These traditional metal brackets allow for some color customization and are smaller than the ones some adults may remember from their pasts.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are a lot like traditional braces, except the brackets are clear or tooth-colored, so as to be more discreet. They are more expensive than traditional braces, but the unobtrusive appearance allows patients to feel more confident about their smiles while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Clear Aligners

A new option has popped up for braces over the past several years: clear aligners. Programs such as Invisalign have reinvented braces by providing orthodontic treatment that is invisible to others. Customized trays are provided to patients to wear and switch out every few weeks. Care for aligners is also important to pay attention to.

These programs are the most costly option for those seeking orthodontic work. However, many adults find this option to be the most attractive.

What to Expect When Getting Braces for Teens

After you, your teen, and your orthodontist come up with a treatment plan, X-rays and molds will be taken. At the first appointment, the orthodontist will dry the teeth and adhere the brackets to each tooth. Wires will be adhered to each bracket and held in place throughout using small bands.

Care and Follow-Up for Braces

Your teen may experience discomfort when their braces are first applied. Braces for teens are adjusted every four to six weeks.

Patients must be sure to take special care to maintain their oral health while their braces are on; flossing, brushing, and avoiding foods which may adversely affect their hardware (no super hard or sticky foods).

Ready to move forward and get a consultation? Contact us to make an appointment.

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