As your child grows to a teen, it means that their jaw and teeth are shifting dramatically during puberty. This means that this is the perfect opportunity for them to get braces! At Tilghman Orthodontics, we provide comprehensive, expert treatment to everyone of all ages. Our Salisbury and Berlin, MD offices consist of highly qualified doctors and staff who are committed to making sure you get the help you need. Starting any orthodontic treatment can be overwhelming for both the parents and the teen. But don’t worry! We have some helpful orthodontic tips that can help anyone adjust to braces or Invisalign. Here are the answers you need to know about orthodontic treatment for adolescents.
Why See an Orthodontist as a Teenager
Why start braces as a teenager? There are different reasons why a teen seeks orthodontic care, but for an orthodontist, it is the optimal time to apply the treatment. The reasons why can include:
- Growth: Because permanent teeth come in during adolescence, orthodontists can correct misaligned bites and teeth early.
- Easier to Treat: It’s easier for an orthodontist to treat orthodontic problems because the jaw and bones of the face are still developing during adolescence. When the facial bones and jaw are done developing, orthodontic conditions can become more difficult and costly to treat.
- Common Among Teens: It’s very common to see teens wearing braces or aligners on their teeth. Because their friends and classmates are also wearing braces/aligners, teens can feel more comfortable wearing them at school or out in social circles.
Popular Orthodontic Options for Teens
- Traditional Metal Braces- Most common type of braces that most people are familiar with. These braces, which are made up of stainless steel bands, brackets, and wires, are bonded to the teeth for the duration of the treatment process.
- Clear Braces- The clear braces are great for teens who don’t want to wear highly visible metal braces. Made with a translucent material, clear braces are very discreet and blend in with the color of your teeth. Similar to conventional metal braces, clear braces are bonded to the teeth.
- Invisalign Teen- Remains to be very popular among teens. Unlike metal or clear braces that are bonded to the teeth, Invisalign Teen is custom-made, removable aligner trays that shift the teeth. Every 2 weeks, you change into a new tray as your teeth move straighter. The aligners have tiny compliance indicators built right in so your orthodontist can tell whether or not the aligners are being worn as directed. The good thing about Invisalign is that they are removable, so you can eat whatever you want. It’s also easier to clean than other types of braces.
- Lingual Braces- These braces are attached to the back of the teeth, making them unnoticeable. However, they can be harder to clean and can be more costly.
Taking Care of Your Braces
Depending on what type of braces you have, your oral hygiene will require different needs. For metal and clear braces, one of the best tools you can use to clean your teeth is interdental brushes (which are easy to find in any drugstore). For Invisalign, you’ll want to clean the trays every day. You can do this by soaking them in denture/aligner cleaners, brushing them with a toothbrush, or even a cotton swab to get into the crevices. Hydrogen peroxide is also a great way to clean them.
It’s also important to floss. There are many different flossers to choose from. You can use string flossers, floss picks, floss threaders, or even a WaterPik to help you get foods, bacteria, and plaque out of your mouth. You can also look online to find specialized flosses that can work for you and your braces. Overall, it’s best to continue to brush 2x a day and floss regularly.
Start Orthodontic Treatment at Tilghman Orthodontics!
If you’re a parent or teen who is looking to start orthodontic treatment, come see us at Tilghman Orthodontics! Contact our Salisbury or Berlin, MD offices to schedule a consultation! Our doctors and staff will provide comprehensive, customizable treatment for your or your teen. If you have any questions/concerns, please feel free to reach out to us! We can’t wait to meet you and help you get started on a treatment plan!