There's Never Been a Better Time for Braces
Finding out your teen needs braces to correct teeth or jaw issues doesn’t mean what it used to when you needed braces as a teen. Orthodontic treatments, methods, techniques and products have dramatically improved over the years.
Bulky, uncomfortable metal braces are a thing of the past, with today’s braces smaller, sleeker, and far more comfortable than ever before. They also come in a variety of styles, materials and colors.
Often started between the ages of 12 and 16, the teen years are the most common time for orthodontic treatment because most permanent teeth will be in place.
Experienced orthodontists like Drs. Ollins can easily detect issues with spacing, crowding, bite, and alignment in this age range and the bone and jaw structure are formed enough to allow orthodontic treatment to begin. Some teens may have even started Phase I treatment at an earlier age, and are now following it up with full braces or other orthodontic treatment.
Beyond outward appearances, untreated dental problems can have a lasting impact on a teen’s oral and overall health. If you notice any of the following issues, we recommend a free exam with us, since they could be signs your teen may benefit from orthodontic treatment.
- Early, late, or irregular loss of their baby teeth
- Difficulty with chewing or biting
- Crowding or extra spacing between teeth
- Jaws that shift or make sounds
- Frequent biting of the cheek or the inside of the mouth
- Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
- Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
- Protrusion of teeth
Early diagnosis and successful treatment of certain bite problems can have both short-term and long-term benefits. We can often minimize problems we classify as “bad bites” with proper orthodontic treatment, including:
- Crooked or crowded teeth
- Missing or extra teeth
- An overbite or underbite
- Incorrect jaw position
- A disorder of the jaw joint
Teeth that responded well to orthodontic treatment, and are straight and well-aligned carry with them a number of benefits, including:
- Being less prone to wear and tear, chipping, and tooth trauma
- Being easier to keep clean, helping to prevent tooth decay and cavities
- Reducing the chances of developing gum disease, which can result in bone loss, decay, and tooth loss
- Improving proper chewing and digestion of food
- The treatment process
Real Teen Ollins Orthodontics Patients
In the course of developing a customized treatment plan for your teen, we may recommend the use of an orthodontic appliance for a while. Here at Ollins Orthodontics, we offer:
Pitts 21 Metal Braces
All metal braces may look the same, but it's what's under the hood that matters most. Pitts 21 changes how orthodontists think about treatment and what braces can do for your smile.
The first difference is that we don’t have to use colors ties anymore to hold the wire to the brace. Even though the color ties may look nice at first, they tend to fade quickly and absorb plaque at a high rate.
By getting rid of the ties, your oral hygiene is greatly improved because of one less thing trapping plaque in your mouth.
The inside of the brace is rectangular instead of square. That may not mean much to you, but it gives control to Drs. Ollins to move your teeth more efficiently. This could mean less treatment time in braces.
Even though we value your treatment's results versus how long you're in treatment, we've noticed treatment times have been decreasing.
Also known as clear braces, these work the same way metal braces, but feature brackets made from clear ceramic materials which blend in with your teen’s smile, making them much less obvious. Since ceramic braces are slightly more prone to breakage, are susceptible to staining, and a little costlier than metal braces, they may not be suitable for everyone.
The Invisalign system is made up of a series of fully customized, clear trays called aligners that are nearly invisible and completely removable. Made of soft plastic, they provide a more comfortable orthodontic experience, with no friction or abrasions inside the mouth.
Each aligner is changed out weekly for the next in the set. When worn the recommended 20-22 hours per day, your teen’s teeth will gradually move into the desired positions. Invisalign works best with mild to moderate orthodontic issues, and may not be an option if your teen requires more serious treatment.
Can teens still play sports when undergoing orthodontic treatment?
Absolutely. If your teen athlete is wearing more traditional braces, it will be essential to protect their smile in order to keep on track with treatment. We strongly recommend that they use an orthodontic mouthguard to protect their braces, and their mouth, from any potential injury.
With the use of a proper orthodontic mouthguard, any contact sport can be played with braces. Because Invisalign aligners are removable, teens using this system can simply take their aligner out before practice or a game, and put it back in afterward.
What about musicians?
Traditional metal braces can potentially affect the way your teen plays some instruments. Most musicians adapt quickly and are able to perform just as well with braces on. Invisalign is an excellent alternative treatment, as removing the aligner before playing allows complete freedom for your teen’s music-making abilities.
Invest in Your Teen’s Smile
Investing in your child's orthodontic treatment is an investment in your child’s future. By scheduling a free exam, we'll be happy to discuss the benefits of treatment with both of you, as well as any of the potential risks associated with delaying or foregoing treatment.