Early adolescence is a good time for somebody to get braces. By that time, all of the permanent teeth – except for the wisdom teeth – have grown in. The dentist can easily spot problems like bad bites, gaps or crooked teeth, and such problems won’t correct themselves. A teenager with such problems will, therefore, need braces. When it comes to braces for teens, our orthodontist will start by examining the patient and taking X-rays and scans of their teeth and jaw. Orthodontic treatment can last anywhere from six months to years. Many patients will have to wear a retainer for at least a few months afterward, and most patients will have to wear a retainer at night for the rest of their lives to keep their teeth from shifting back to their old positions and conditions.
What Kinds of Braces Does Redmond Orthodontics Offer?
Redmond Orthodontics offers two types of braces for teens: metal and clear. Metal or traditional braces, which are made of titanium or stainless steel, are the oldest type. They consist of brackets that the orthodontist glues to the teeth with a bonding material. The orthodontist will thread the arch-wire through the brackets and clip it into place. The arch-wire connects the brackets to each other and helps them put pressure on the teeth that gradually move into their proper places. The orthodontist may also install ligatures or rubber bands to put more pressure on the teeth. Teenagers often like metal braces because they can decorate the brackets with colored elastics.
Clear braces are similar to the metal braces for teens in that they also consist of brackets, bonding material, and an arch-wire. The brackets, however, are made of a ceramic or porcelain that is the same color as the patient’s teeth, so the braces appear to be transparent.
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is a set of clear plastic aligners or trays. While they aren’t braces per se, they are used to straighten teeth. Teenagers and adults like Invisalign® because the trays are removable. Invisalign® can be used to treat crowding, gaps, overbites, and underbites. More severe or complicated problems may require braces for teens.
You can learn more about the options regarding braces for teens during a consultation with our orthodontist at Redmond Orthodontics in Redmond, WA. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!