Between the ages of 11 and 15 is the most common time for orthodontic treatment, and for good reason. By 12, most if not all of the permanent teeth have erupted and are in place, and crooked teeth, gaps, and bad bites can easily be detected. These problems will hardly ever correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to get their adolescent orthodontic treatment.
ADOLESCENT TREATMENT OPTIONS
Metal/traditional braces are still the most popular type of braces, and due to advanced technology and methods, they are more comfortable than ever before.
Clear/ Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.
Invisalign uses a custom-made series of clear, comfortable aligners made to wear over teeth. Simply insert in a new set of aligners every two weeks, and the teeth gradually shift into place.
Invisalign Teen aligners are a perfect fit for you or your teen’s lifestyle, because aligners are:
- Removable (so there are no food or sports activity restrictions)
- Customized just each patient
The Herbst® appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.
The palatal orthodontic expander widens your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression. Click Here to watch an instructional video on how to turn your jaw expander.
Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.