orthodontics for teens | Crane & Seager Orthodontics in Fort Collins and Loveland, CO

Orthodontics for Teens: What Parents Need to Know

Orthodontists estimate that up to 75% of kids could benefit from getting braces to straighten their teeth, improve functional problems, and improve the shape of their face.

Braces are common for children as they grow up and can greatly enhance your child’s self-confidence. If your teen is feeling self-conscious about their smile, orthodontics may be the best option. Do you want to learn more about how an orthodontist can help? 

Keep reading this guide for everything parents need to know about orthodontics for teens!

What Types of Orthodontic Treatments Are Available?

There are many different types of braces available, each with different purposes and benefits. Learning more about each of these treatments can help you and your teen choose the best option. 

The most common type of braces is traditional metal braces. These are also the least expensive option and use metal brackets to straighten teeth. 

Your teen can also choose ceramic braces that are tooth-colored. These are popular because they are much less noticeable than traditional braces. However, they work the same as traditional metal braces. 

Finally, you may want to consider Invisalign for teens. This is best for people who only have a mild misalignment. Invisalign uses clear aligners to gradually align teeth, making them a much more comfortable option for orthodontic treatment. 

Your teen will get new aligners every couple of weeks to continually straighten their teeth. 

How Long Will They Wear Braces? 

Different teens will have to wear their braces for different amounts of time. This is because the severity of their oral health problems may differ. 

For example, a teen with a severely misaligned bite would need to wear braces for much longer than a teen that is simply getting braces to improve the aesthetics of their smile. 

You can get an accurate idea of how long your child will wear braces when you go to their orthodontist. They will take impressions of your teen’s teeth to create molds, which will help them determine what types of braces would work best and how long they would need to wear them. 

Typically, you can expect your teen to wear braces anywhere from six months to over two years.

What Is the Treatment Process for Braces? 

Braces can sound like a scary treatment for teens, especially those that do not enjoy visiting the dentist or orthodontist. Because of this, learning more about how braces are put on their teeth can help your teen prepare for their treatment. 

First, your teen’s orthodontist will thoroughly clean their teeth. Otherwise, bacteria or debris can get trapped behind the cement that holds the braces on their teeth. 

Then, your orthodontist will use a small amount of glue on each tooth to attach a bracket. After each tooth has a bracket placed on it, the orthodontist will run a piece of wire through each bracket. 

Are Braces Painful for Teens? 

Are braces painful? This depends on each person. 

Most people will experience slight discomfort when they first get braces. This is because your teeth are not used to having things on them and your mouth needs to get used to its new shape. Braces also put pressure on your teeth as they adjust your bite, so this may be uncomfortable. 

However, this pain or discomfort should wear off after about a week of wearing braces. 

Your orthodontist may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever to help with this discomfort. They can also provide your teen with dental wax to protect their mouth from getting irritated. 

What Can Teens Eat After Getting Braces? 

Taking care of your teen after they get braces or other orthodontic treatments may look a little bit different. Because braces can be painful for the first couple of days, it is important that you learn what foods your teen can eat with their braces. 

During the first few days following the treatment, it is best that your teen eats soft foods. This way they will not hurt their mouth as they eat. Some soft foods include steamed vegetables, soft fruits, bread, and even things like ice cream. 

While your teen can go back to eating most foods after their mouth feels less sore, there are some foods that they should avoid during the course of their orthodontic treatment. These include foods that require biting into, like apples or corn on the cob. 

They should also avoid foods that are crunchy, hard, or sticky. 

How Should They Care For Their Braces? 

Finally, it is important that you and your teen learn how they should care for their braces. To get the best results from braces, they need to maintain good oral health habits. 

For example, they should brush their teeth in the morning, in the evening, and after every meal. This can be a bit more difficult with the brackets and wire on their teeth, but they can use a toothbrush to carefully brush around each bracket. 

Your teens should also be aware of all the foods that they should avoid during their orthodontic treatment. For example, things like popcorn husks or crunchy foods can get stuck in their gums and be difficult to get out with their braces. 

Need Orthodontics for Teens in Loveland, CO? 

Orthodontic treatment for teens can be used to improve the bite and function of your teen’s teeth, but can also improve the aesthetics of their smile. By learning more about orthodontics for teens, you and your child can be prepared for their treatment. 

If you are looking for an orthodontist or dentist for teens, Crane & Seager Orthodontics can help! We provide many different orthodontic treatments and can help you find the best option for you and your child. 

Contact us today to learn more about orthodontic treatment for teens!