Teens Who Need Braces – What Parents Need to Know
Why do teens need braces?
Teens who need braces often resist them since braces are typically worn during a more awkward and self-conscience time of adolescence. Parents of teens who need braces must help their kids understand that having braces is part of growing up.
When a child’s baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth, some of these teeth do not emerge and grow out at the right angle or spacing. Some teeth may overlap with one another while others may be crooked, rotated, or twisted.
There are also children with small mouths, making their teeth crowd and shift positions. Sometimes, the problem lies in the size of the upper and lower jaws. Half of the jaw may be smaller than the other or may hang or jut out over the other half.
Other possible reasons why teens may need to get braces include early loss of teeth, accidents, medical problems, dental diseases, and prolonged thumb-sucking.
What problems can occur if parents and teens avoid braces?
Apart from being unsightly and dampening the confidence of teens, the teeth and mouth issues mentioned above can also lead to other problems. For example, misaligned teeth can lead to chewing and digestion issues. Poorly aligned teeth are also difficult to clean. When your teen cannot properly clean his teeth, that will leave him vulnerable to dental problems like cavities and gum disease.
What happens after it is determined that a teen requires braces?
Today, dentists can determine whether a child will need braces or similar corrective devices in the future. In certain instances, your child’s pediatric dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for interceptive treatment therapy. This type of treatment entails the use of devices that can help the teeth grow and develop properly. However, in most cases, you have to wait until your child has become a teen before undergoing any orthodontic treatment.
Before your child can wear braces, his orthodontist will need to properly diagnose the problem. This may require the use of X-rays, photographs, impressions, and computer models. The use of these tools will allow the orthodontist to have an accurate idea of how the affected teeth are positioned.
After making the diagnosis, the orthodontist can make the proper recommendations. In some cases, your teen may only need to wear retainers, and in other cases, your teen may need to wear braces.
Braces have two key advantages over other treatment methods.
First, braces remain in position for an extended period of time. Second, they apply a steady amount of pressure on the teeth. These both allow braces to make the necessary movement in the teeth. In general, treatment time for braces can last between two and three years.
There are different types of braces that your teen’s orthodontist may recommend, depending on his condition. These include clear braces, metal braces, mini-braces, and invisible braces.
To schedule a visit, or if you have questions about braces for your teen, please contact us here.