Orthodontics is a dental field that treats and resolves the irregularities of the teeth by using special appliances. For many teenagers, the word “orthodontics” simply means braces. Some teens don’t mind the idea, but many want to avoid them because of how braces look or feel. Fortunately, the Marconi Dental Group has several options that can address those concerns, but first let’s go over some of the benefits of using orthodontics during adolescence.
The Benefits of Teen Orthodontics
Tooth Development — By the early teenage years, baby teeth are out and permanent teeth are in, but that doesn’t mean they come in perfectly straight and symmetrical. Sometimes they need to be repositioned to avoid problems later on.
No Better Time — During adolescence, bones in the face and jaw are still developing, which makes them respond more positively to orthodontics, often reducing the time it takes to complete necessary treatment. Waiting for adulthood is still an option, but it usually takes longer to change the dentition in older patients, since the teeth and jaw are firmly set.
Straight Teeth Benefits — There’s no denying a straight set of teeth boosts your self-esteem and self-confidence. A great smile helps with photos, presentations, job interviews, even hanging out with your friends – some of whom likely have braces themselves. Using orthodontics during adolescence leads to straight teeth and a great smile.
What does an orthodontic procedure involve?
Orthodontic treatments depend greatly on the individual’s mouth. First, one of our dentists meets with you and your parents to discuss all the available options. We take X-ray images of your mouth and either digitize or cast impressions of your teeth to make a full model of your mouth. After a thorough analysis, the dentist develops a treatment plan that takes into consideration your requests.
- Traditional metal braces — Metal brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth, with a thin wire running through the middle of the brackets, connecting them to one another. Elastic ties assist in providing the tension, and come in a variety of colors. Brackets are also available with designer colors. Wires can also come colored.
- Clear braces — Instead of metal brackets, clear braces use plastic or ceramic brackets. They blend in better with the natural color of your teeth. They also connect to each other with a thin wire, but since the brackets are camouflaged on your teeth, the wire is much harder to notice.
- Lingual Braces — Instead of being on the front of your teeth, lingual braces connect to the back of your teeth, facing the tongue – barely visible to others. They usually take a little longer to get used to, but have the advantage of invisibility.
- Clear Aligners for teens – Clear aligners are a series of plastic trays customized to apply pressure to your teeth. As your teeth move over time into their new positions, your trays are replaced with newer models that continue the pressure until your teeth are straightened.
Depending on your circumstances, your dentist might recommend alternative treatments or devices. And of course, the process is not immediate. Orthodontic treatments take time, between six to thirty-six months, usually followed up with the use of a retainer. The process can also be sped up using patented techniques like Propel.
Although the wait can seem difficult, once your dentist says the treatment is finished, it’s finished. Your new smile will be with you for the rest of your life! Please contact the Marconi Dental Group to discuss what orthodontic options are best for you.