It goes without saying that teenage is a phase of changes. Seeing your classmates and friends slowly grow into their adult selves makes one more self-conscious and concerned about looks. Having a crooked set of teeth can be psychologically off-putting at this stage of growth.
The one-step solution to this is undoubtedly orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment is basically rearranging your teeth to improve their utility and outward appearance.
The teenage years are the best time for any orthodontic treatment. Why so? Because at this stage, the facial growth is not complete, making it easier to conduct orthodontic treatments and make changes. Moreover, it will require less time and effort than adult orthodontic treatments.
A healthy and happy smile will certainly go a long way in improving the quality of life of teenagers. Orthodontic treatment is one of the most sought-after treatments among teenage patients.
Why orthodontic treatment?
Here are some reasons why you should consider orthodontic treatment.
Point #1 on why your child must wear braces is not about physical appearance. More important is the fact that it will help them maintain good oral hygiene. A well-structured set of teeth improves the quality of biting, chewing, and subsequently digestion. Gaps or crooked teeth may promote chances for collection of food particles leading to teeth decay and gum diseases. Further, a proper jaw and dental structure will help in improving speech.
A straight symmetric smile looks great on everyone. It is not just about the teeth alignment. A beautiful smile makes a face look radiant and welcoming. It attracts people towards you and encourages positive interaction.
Once you start smiling confidently, without the fear of crooked or misaligned teeth showing, you begin loving your smile. A sense of self-worth and self-love starts with this. You no longer shy away from crowds. People who smile whole-heartedly gradually develop a positive attitude towards life.
When should one consult an orthodontist?
Let’s take a peek at the different conditions that should make you consult a dentist for orthodontic treatment. Briefed below are the conditions and why this may become a threat to your oral health.
Overcrowded teeth will make your smile look messy. Further, it will make biting difficult and increase jaw clenching. If the teeth are all crowded, it also becomes challenging to make fillings in the case of decay.
Spaces between teeth
Gaps between teeth are equally dangerous because it creates spots for tiny food particles to get stuck in. Thus, there is an increased chance of tooth decay. It may also cause slight speech issues due to the passage of air.
Overbite and underbite
Overbite and underbite can cause difficulty in chewing, increasing the strain on the teeth and jaw. So, pain in the mouth and face can be expected. It can also increase the chance of accidentally biting your lips or gum.
What kinds of treatments are available?
People generally assume that orthodontic treatment means metal braces. Yes, metallic braces are the most common kind of orthodontic treatment. But it’s not the only one! Metallic braces are the most preferred option amongst teenagers. In smaller numbers, teenagers are also choosing ceramic or clear aligners because they are conscious of their appearance. These options depend upon the condition of your teeth and your lifestyle choices. Let us take a look at these.
Metal braces are the most common and go-to choice for orthodontic procedures. Although not discreet in appearance, they are efficient and give out good results.
A metallic brace consists of three components – metal brackets, archwire and elastic rings. Each tooth is fitted with a square metallic bracket. These brackets are connected through the thin archwire. The archwire is connected to the bracket using the elastic rings or O-rings. These rings are available in many colours. It is pretty interesting to see teens choose a colour of their choice for these elastic rings in a manner that add to their style. That is an added positive quirk about metallic braces.
Ceramic braces are structurally similar to metallic braces. The only difference is that it is made of clear and transparent ceramic material. This means that your brace is less visible to people. It is a good option for teens conscious about their looks. However, ceramic braces are more expensive than metallic braces. Also, you will need to take better care of it as it can stain easily.
Invisible aligners or Invisalign is a growing option amongst teens who wish to correct their smile without having to make the procedure prominent.
The dentist takes 3D impressions of your teeth to create a custom-fit transparent mouthpiece. This mouthpiece is changed every two weeks depending upon the improvements in alignment. The downside is that this option is not viable for all. Invisalign can be used only to correct mild issues and not severe ones. It is more on the expensive side as well. So, you will have to bear the cost of wearing a non-obvious teeth aligner.
Advantages of getting braces as a teenager
As said before, teenage is the best time for such structural corrective treatments. As the facial growth is not complete, teeth alignment works quicker and more efficiently.
Beyond just correcting the position of teeth, they can guide the growth of the jaw as well. The treatment might become so efficient that corrective jaw surgery can be avoided in some cases.
Improved oral health is an added advantage of the procedure. Better structured teeth mean fewer bite and decay issues. So better oral, digestion and speech condition at a younger age will guarantee a better lifestyle in the long run.
Wearing braces as a teenager is common and even socially acceptable. It adds to your style and personality as well, especially with colourful O-rings. Unlike braces in adulthood, a teenage brace is trendy and even colour customisable.
Improving one’s appearance in an earlier stage will surely add more self-esteem as an adult. This will help during interviews, weddings, and other life-changing scenarios in the long run.