Everything to Know About Braces for Teens
A hallmark of teenage years is wearing braces. Some may dread these metal mouthpieces, while others are excited to show off their colorful rubber bands in style. Most people will need braces at some point in their life, and maybe even multiple times depending on the configuration of their jaw and joints. For teenagers, braces usually need to be worn for about two years, but this varies based on the orthodontic issues that need to be fixed. There is much to learn about braces in terms of which kind is right for you, how they will affect your life, and how long this process takes. Read on to gain more insight into braces and all that they entail.
What Kind of Braces Should I Get?
There are now many different kinds of braces thanks to the world of modern orthodontics. These types vary in that they use different mechanisms to move teeth or look different to make the process less noticeable to others. The kind of braces you get depends on what orthodontic problems need to be fixed, as well as your personal preferences.
Types of Braces:
Clear or Ceramic Braces
Clear or ceramic braces follow the same mechanism as traditional braces but use a different material for the brackets. These braces use ceramic brackets to mimic the natural color of teeth, thus making the braces less noticeable.
Self-ligating braces use metal like traditional braces, but instead of elastics or metal ties, a specialized type of bracket is employed. This bracket maintains pressure on the wire and teeth, so it does not require manual tightening by your orthodontist. Self-ligating braces tend to be a bit more comfortable for patients and can cut down on the number of orthodontic appointments since they tighten themselves over time. Another benefit of these braces is that there is less plaque buildup around the brackets than traditional braces, making them a bit more of a hygienic alternative.
Lingual braces use brackets attached to the back of teeth, which makes them invisible to others. They work the same way that traditional braces do by using metal wires to pull teeth into position. Lingual braces sometimes lead to more tongue irritation than traditional braces since the brackets are on the inner side of the teeth.
Though not technically braces, the SureSmile system effectively does the same job as braces. With SureSmile, patients spend less time in treatment and make fewer visits to the orthodontist. The custom SureSmile archwire provides smoother movement for a more comfortable experience than traditional braces. And by quickly returning to a normal oral hygiene routine, maintaining healthy teeth and gums is easier.
Lifestyle Changes with Braces
Since braces are moving your teeth and jaw, they do tend to cause some discomfort. After installing braces or after tightenings, your mouth area may be a little sore. This can be alleviated by eating soft foods and taking a pain reliever for the first day or so. Sometimes the metal rubbing against the inside of your gums or tongue can lead to tenderness, but you can ask your orthodontist for dental wax to cover the brackets and leave a smooth surface.
Braces should not affect your day-to-day activities. You can still lead an active lifestyle exercising and playing sports, but you may want to wear a braces-friendly mouthguard to protect your teeth. You should avoid certain foods while wearing your braces as they can cause damage or break the metal inside your mouth. Foods that are extra hard, sticky, or chewy are best left to enjoy after you get your braces removed and show off your perfect smile.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you will need to spend a few extra minutes taking care of your dental hygiene with braces. Taking time to brush between brackets and use a special flosser provided by your orthodontist is a good idea. It is important to remember that while braces are putting in work to straighten out your smile, you need to put in work to keep your teeth healthy and white throughout the process.
Your orthodontic upkeep does not stop after your braces are removed. You will be given a retainer after getting your braces off that you will need to wear consistently for about a year. This means only taking the retainer out to eat or clean your teeth. The retainer is meant to stabilize your teeth in their perfect positions ensuring that all the hard work your braces did is not lost.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
The cost of braces depends on several factors. The type of braces you choose, as well as your starting point and what kinds of problems, need to be addressed can all affect the final cost of braces. To get a better idea of how much your braces will cost, check out our payment calculator.