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What Type Of Braces Are Best For Teenagers?

a teenage boy with braces

Teenagers have teeth that require a different kind assistance and tools than the teeth of adults or very young children. Teenage is a time of quick growth, thus it also becomes the best age for any corrections to be made in teeth structure since the change can be seen very quickly.

Braces are required for correcting a number of oral health issues like crooked or misaligned teeth, gaps between teeth, underbite, overbite, and crossbite. Braces not only improve the overall appearance of the teeth, but also the oral health of the patient.

Teenagers can get nervous about their appearance and become self-conscious, so it is important to select the right set of braces for them. Let us learn about the best braces available for teenagers:

1. Traditional metal braces

Traditional braces have been suggested as a popular type for a very long time for teenagers as they have metal brackets attached to each tooth and then these are connected to an archwire. It creates a push and pull system which causes the teeth to move slowly in the right direction. Ligatures are used to connect the brackets to the archwire. Occasionally, these braces need to be tightened properly so that they can successfully reposition and reshape the teeth.

Modern technology has made these metal braces much lighter in weight and more bearable. The appearance can also be modified, the elastic ligatures can be customized according to the patient’s color preference. Metal braces are a great choice as they are most economical, flexible, and modifiable. However, if the teenager is conscious about their appearance, metallic braces may not be preferable as they are very prominent. There are other options of braces available for such patients.

2. Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are very similar to traditional metallic braces. The only difference is that the elastic of the archwire is made from a ceramic material that is clear and transparent. The see-through nature of these braces makes them preferable among teenagers as most teens are conscious about the way they look.

They blend in with the natural color of the teeth much better than metallic braces. The metallic braces are quite conspicuous and have a metallic sheen to them, ceramic braces don’t cause such problems.  However, ceramic braces can stain easily, so it is very important to take care of them and clean them properly. Also, these braces are larger in size and can be a little harder to manage. They can also be uncomfortable due to their size. Ceramic braces are also fragile and prone to breakage due to activities like sport or an unexpected injury to the mouth. It is essential to maintain and extra take care of ceramic braces, or they won’t produce effective results.

3. Invisalign

Invisalign aligners are becoming very popular among patients of all age groups primarily because they are practically invisible.

Invisalign aligners are made after taking a virtual impression of the patient’s teeth. A high-tech scanner is used to take the impression.

Invisalign is highly customized, therefore they provide a much better treatment experience than other types of braces. Also, there are no food restrictions when opting for Invisalign. They are very durable and do not break easily.

Teens who are conscious about their appearance will find Invisalign a good option as they are much less noticeable than metallic or ceramic braces. They are also removable, therefore very convenient.

However, Invisalign cannot solve the severe dental issue and are expensive. They have to be replaced with a new set of aligners every two weeks as well. Also, it is very easy to lose Invisalign as they are likely to be removed frequently throughout the day. It may not be a good option if the teenager is not careful about wearing them for the required amount of time.

4. Lingual braces

Lingual braces are almost like metal braces, the only difference being that they are attached and cemented to the back of the teeth, unlike traditional braces. These types of braces, though super invisible to outsiders are hard to maintain and are not so easy to clean. They also require adjustments on a monthly basis. Patients who cannot afford Invisalign but want a procedure that is inconspicuous, usually select this option.

5. Mini braces

Mini braces are a smaller version of traditional metallic braces and involve much less metal. They are super comfortable to wear and affect the appearance of the patient minimally. The only con for this kind of braces is that there are some food restrictions and require more frequent dental appointments for maintenance.

6. Self-ligating braces

Self-ligating braces can be compared to traditional and mini braces. They are exactly like metallic braces except for the rubber bands. These braces have metallic clips in place of rubber bands to hold the archives in place with the brackets. These braces work faster than traditional braces by providing fast results. They also have an advantage over metallic braces as metallic braces restrict the movement of the teeth required to reposition them. Since self-ligating braces don’t have these rubber bands, this movement is not restricted and the teeth can reposition themselves without friction, producing faster results. Also, the metal used in these braces is much stronger and more durable than the kind used in traditional and ceramic braces. These braces however perfect, have some food restrictions that the patient must follow.

7. Partial braces

Partial braces are suggested for teenagers that don’t need a full set of teeth as there isn’t much damage to the teeth. They have brackets and wires, covering only a few parts of the teeth. A major advantage of these braces is that they can focus on specific teeth and provide a targeted solution. However, the downside is that only a certain part of teeth is covered. The patient has to opt for another option for full coverage of teeth and treatment of all teeth.

You can consult your dental clinic to determine which option would be best for you.

MP Orthodontics is an orthodontic practice based in Cheltenham, Melbourne. Working from the belief that orthodontic treatment is much more than working with teeth and creating smiles, treating orthodontists – Dr Martin Poon and Dr Geoff Hall – approach patients as people first. Their approach is to work together and plan and implement treatment that meets each individual’s needs. Drawing on 30 plus years experience of helping children gain confidence through tailored treatment, MP Orthodontics, is a truly unique orthodontic practice.

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