Adolescent Treatment

Adolescent orthodontic care.For many teenagers, getting braces is a rite of passage and are just another example of changes adolescents go through at this time — along with growth in stature, music and clothing preferences and increasing self-awareness. Is there any particular reason why orthodontics and teenagers seem to get along? Yes!

There are several good reasons why adolescence is the optimal time for orthodontic treatment in many patients  though occasionally early intervention is called for. One reason has to do with the development stages of the teeth when all baby teeth have been lost and the permanent ones are mostly in the mouth — generally by the age of 11-13, although there is no set timetable. This is often is the best time for us to begin correcting problems such: a bad bite (malocclusion), improper tooth spacing, or poor alignment, etc.

Orthodontic problems don't improve with age, they simply become more difficult to correct (for us and the patient). It's easier to treat many orthodontic problems during adolescence because that is a crucial time when the body is still growing rapidly. Whether using standard braces or appliances like palatal expanders, we can improve function and self-appearance in a short period of time. In later years, when the bones of the face and jaw are fully developed, many conditions become more difficult, lengthy, and costly to treat.

Often, there is a social element to getting orthodontic treatment in adolescence. If you need braces, you're not alone! Chances are you'll see some of your fellow classmates in our office and you may even make some new friends. When it's done, you'll have a smile that you can be proud of and benefit your whole life.


What can you expect when you come to our office for orthodontic treatment? It will all depend on what kind of treatment you need. When you come in for the first time, we will look in your mouth and take a few radiographic images (x-ray) of your mouth to help develop a treatment plan. The plan may involve regular metal braces, with or without elastics (rubber bands) and possibly a specialized appliance for part of time. Here are some of the most commonly used orthodontic appliances:

Metal braces.Metal Braces need almost no introduction, but you may be surprised to find they're actually smaller and less bulky than ever.


Clear braces.Clear Braces feature brackets made of ceramic or composite materials which blend in with your teeth, making them more disguised. These are suitable in many situations, but cost a little more.


Clear aligners.Clear Aligners are a series of removable, clear plastic trays that gradually straighten teeth as they're worn (for 22 hours per day). Formerly recommended only for adult patients, but now come with special features — like compliance indicators to show how often the trays have been worn — that make them appropriate for teens in some situations. The advantage: they're practically invisible!


Lingual braces.Lingual Braces offer the most unnoticeable form of orthodontic treatment because they are attached to the back (tongue side) of the teeth, where they cannot be seen at all.


Other Orthodontic Appliances may be recommended in some cases, especially when major tooth or jaw movement is needed. These can range from small devices that fit inside the mouth to external headgear  all are temporary appliances and provide a long-term benefit in a short period of time.


There's no one answer that fits everyone and that is it all depends your individual situation. However, the general active stage of orthodontic treatment lasts 6-30 months and afterwards, you will wear a retainer longterm to maintain the new smile we've worked together to create. When orthodontic treatment is complete, it will benefit you (or your child) for a lifetime.


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