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Feb 13

Colorado Springs Teen BracesAdolescence tends to be a turning point in one’s development, both socially and physically. It is during this time that people begin to adopt an identity that will follow them into adulthood, and as such, they should want to make as many positive changes as possible. Because it is also around this time that people finish growing their second molars, it is an excellent opportunity to permanently straighten one’s smile.

At our Colorado Springs orthodontics office, we enjoy helping our teenage patients select a teeth straightening option that is optimally comfortable and effective for them. Whether through traditional braces or invisible braces, we are confident that all patients can benefit from the right treatment. 

The Advantages of Braces for Teens

Teenagers are in a unique position where physical change is not just expected, but often encouraged, as children gradually transition into young adults. This is even true of the teeth, gums, and jaw, which will likely shift over the adolescent and pre-adolescent years. Once teens see how their teeth have settled into place, they have an excellent opportunity to make lifelong improvements to their smiles. By undergoing orthodontic treatment early on, patients can set themselves up for success in their remaining school years and into adulthood.

Likewise, braces are commonly seen on younger patients. Teens and preteens are less likely to feel self-conscious about braces than if they wait to receive treatment, especially as their peers are undergoing similar orthodontic treatments. For some patients, this is also a matter of dental health, as erupting molars may require more space to properly grow in. Perhaps best of all, the treatment timeline is accelerated in teenagers as compared to adults, due to bone and gum tissues that are still growing.

Types of Braces Available

Generally, there are two types of braces that are offered to patients: traditional braces and invisible braces. The primary differences between these treatments are as follows:

  • Traditional braces: This conventional treatment utilizes a series of brackets, bands, and wires that are connected and cemented onto teeth. The brackets are positioned in a way that pulls teeth toward their preferred alignment over time. Because these braces are individually placed, tightened, and adjusted, nearly any sort of alignment issue can be corrected. In addition to regular metal braces, we also offer self-ligated braces, which can adjust teeth more quickly and comfortably, as well as ceramic braces for a more subtle appearance.
  • Invisible braces: True to their name, invisible braces can barely be seen when worn. This is because they use a clear plastic tray that fits over teeth, having very little effect on the aesthetics of a smile. The removable tray is worn like a retainer, allowing patients to undergo orthodontic treatment without the need for any hardware to be attached to teeth. However, because invisible braces only allow for certain movements of teeth, they cannot fix as many orthodontic problems as traditional braces.

While both of these treatments can help straighten teeth within a similar timeframe, not everyone may be a good candidate for both treatment options. Rather, candidacy should be determined on an individual basis, depending on the condition of teeth and a patient’s goals for treatment.

Candidates for Invisible Braces

Invisible braces such as Invisalign® can be particularly appealing for teenagers who may be embarrassed to wear conspicuous metal braces for months or years at a time. But while invisible braces can provide stunning results, not all patients may be good candidates. Problems that can most likely be corrected through invisible braces include:

  • Mild to moderate crookedness
  • Crowded teeth
  • Gapped teeth
  • Mild bite problems (e.g., overbites, underbites)

For severe crookedness and bite alignment problems, Invisalign® and ClearCorrect® will not provide adequate treatment. Similarly, teeth that are impacted or rotated more than 30 degrees will be better corrected through traditional braces. To better learn whether regular or invisible braces are most appropriate for you, come in for a consultation.

Schedule a Consultation

The best time for braces to be considered is before adolescence, so an orthodontist can assess potential bite problems before they happen. Nevertheless, it’s never too late to achieve straighter teeth. Contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gaworski, and learn which treatment is right for you or your teen.

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