Teenagers and Braces: What You Need to Know
Raging hormones, self-esteem issues and peer pressure - it can be tough being young. Everything is changing emotionally and physically, and adolescence can often be the time when people are most insecure about their looks.
If your child needs to have their teeth straightened, they might understandably be self-conscious about what braces might look like. Here we take a look at the modern alternatives to traditional metal ‘train track’ braces and discuss the benefits of straighter teeth for your teenager.
How do I know if my teenager needs orthodontic treatment?
Your dentist will be the best person to let you know if your teenager needs to see an orthodontist. You may also have noticed issues yourself – including overcrowding, protruding teeth, or large gaps in between teeth.
The best time to have orthodontic treatment is during the teen years, as all the adult teeth have come through and any bite or alignment issues become clear. It is also an ideal time to adjust the position of the teeth as teenage bones are still growing and relatively soft.
If you think your child may need orthodontic treatment it is a good idea to get their teeth examined by either a dentist or an orthodontist as soon as you can.
What shall I do if my teenager is self conscious about getting braces?
We appreciate how your teenager may be worried by the thought of metal braces on their teeth. This is the time when they might be most concerned about their appearance and how others might judge them.
As a parent you can help your child find the best option when it comes to their teeth – and understanding the different treatments that are available can be reassuring. Luckily there are innovative modern options that are virtually invisible and work quickly to straighten your child’s teeth.
What are the best options for teenage teeth straightening?
Invisalign aligners: these are clear aligners that are almost invisible when in place. Instead of brackets and wires they’re made of smooth, clear plastic, made to fit over teeth and straighten them over time.
Unlike metal braces they’re removable, so your teenager can take them out if they want to go out. They can also eat whatever food they like and carry on playing their favourite sports.
Lingual braces: these are metal braces, customised to fit on the inside of the teeth, so they are completely invisible. No-one will know your teen is wearing them, unless they tell them!
As they are fixed they are always working, with the added benefit that you won’t have to remind your teen to wear them.
Clear braces: these braces are fixed using ceramic, tooth-coloured brackets, instead of metal, so they are another discreet option. Again, the fact that they are fixed, means they are always working and offer precision when straightening the teeth.
Why is it important for my teen to have their teeth straightened?
Having straighter teeth and a smile that they are happy with can help boost your child’s self-confidence, which can in turn have a positive impact on their social life, relationships and their schoolwork.
Misaligned and overcrowded teeth can also be difficult to keep clean. Food can become trapped more easily and lead to cavities and gum disease. Having straighter, aligned teeth means they are easier to floss and brush - which is good for your child’s oral health.
Research also shows a link between tooth decay, gum disease and other conditions such as diabetes and gum disease. So as your child grows up, it is always better for their general health to have teeth that are straight and easier to look after throughout their life.
Visiting our London clinic
If you think your teenager may need orthodontic treatment and would like to find out more or make an appointment, please call 020 7244 4200.