Adult Braces, Clear Aligners for Teens, & Children Braces
About Adults and Braces
Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. In fact, one in five orthodontic patients is over 21. With the invention of more discreet orthodontic appliances such as clear braces and aligners, adults feel comfortable stepping out in public during all phases of treatment.
Special Considerations for Adults
While adults can experience the same results as children and teens in terms of achieving a beautiful, straight smile, the treatment often takes longer. This is due to several factors. Because the jawbone in an adult is fully formed, it is somewhat less receptive to orthodontic treatment. In addition to that, gum disease, which is generally unique to the adult population, may hinder the progress of orthodontic treatment.
Prior to Treatment
Before beginning orthodontic treatment, we will check first to see what underlying misalignment issues exist, and we will also check for pre-existing dental problems. We recommend that any oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease be remedied prior to orthodontic treatment.
Types of Braces for Adults
While traditional metal braces are sometimes used for adults, our patients typically choose a more discreet, convenient orthodontic method. Options include clear or tooth-colored ceramic braces, Invisalign® clear aligners, or lingual braces, which are fixed to the inside of teeth and therefore invisible when you smile. We welcome patients of all ages in our orthodontic practice. Give us a call for more information on how we can transform your smile!
Clear Aligners for Teens
More and more teens and young adults are discovering the many benefits of clear aligners. In fact, the lifestyle of the average teenager makes them great candidates for clear aligners! Traditional metal braces interfere with sports, healthy eating, socializing and other common teenage activities such as playing musical instruments. With clear aligners, not only is the treatment virtually invisible, the trays are also comfortable and removable, allowing teens to participate normally in their lives.
How Do Clear Aligners Work?
A series of custom-made aligner trays is used to gradually shift your teen’s teeth into place. Each tray is designed to move just one tooth or one section of teeth at a time. Once the tray’s work is complete (typically every two weeks), we will exchange it for the next. Clear aligners can treat the same issues that traditional metal braces do such as overbites, crowding and other alignment problems.
Pain and Soreness
Because there are no brackets and wires, clear aligners do not cause significant pain or soreness. In some cases, patients feel temporary discomfort (pressure) for the first few days after switching trays. That pressure may be uncomfortable but is also a good sign that the trays are doing their job!
Caring for Clear Aligners
Aligners should be worn for 20-22 hours per day. They should only be removed for cleaning, eating and drinking. To clean the trays, simply brush and rinse them each time you brush your teeth.
Treatment time typically falls within the range of 9-16 months, and is dependent on full compliance with our instructions for use. For more information on the various invisible braces solution for teens, please give us a call! You may also want to visit Invisalign for more information.
Children and Braces
About Children and Braces
Children and teenagers are ideal candidates for orthodontic treatment. Because the jawbone is soft and still growing, a young patient’s smile is particularly receptive to re-alignment. In addition to enhanced aesthetics, a straighter smile also offers significant health benefits including improved speech and better access for oral hygiene.
When Should You See an Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a visit to the orthodontist at age 7 (or earlier if oral or facial irregularities are present). Early intervention allows us to guide the growth of the jawbone, ensuring that permanent teeth come in straight. We do this by creating more space where teeth are crowded and regulating the width of the upper and lower jaw. This helps to avoid impacted teeth and other costly and painful complications later on in life.
What Causes Misalignment?
Most bite issues are inherited, but they can also be caused or exacerbated by habits and behaviors that are common with young children including finger sucking, overuse of pacifiers, poor nutrition and poor oral hygiene.
To determine if your child will benefit from braces, we will perform several painless diagnostic procedures. This initial phase may include panoramic X-rays, bite impressions, and computer-generated images of the head, neck and jaw. These steps also help us to decide on the best treatment option for your child.
Braces are common among children. For this reason, the embarrassment factor is low when compared to adults, and therefore we often use traditional metal braces on children. Colorful bands are added, giving kids a new and fun way to express themselves! As a child moves into the teen years, however, he or she may request a more discreet treatment method such as Invisalign® or clear ceramic braces. We are here to make your child’s orthodontic experience as comfortable and successful as possible. Please give us a call for more information.