Young teen with braces

Once adult teeth start coming in, it’s not uncommon for your kids to need braces. Some teenagers may experience crowding or malalignment as they’re large teeth grow in. If this is the case with your teen, your dentist will likely recommend braces. Here are some common questions parents have when it’s time for their teens to get braces.

Are Braces Painful?

As a parent, it’s only natural to be concerned about your child’s well-being and try to help them avoid pain. However, while your teen may experience mild tenderness after the initial application of traditional braces, this usually resolves quickly. In fact, most teens only experience mild discomfort when they get braces. You can speed up the healing process by following your dentist’s instructions for eating as well as taking care of the braces.

Are There Different Types?

Braces have come a long way. Before, the only option was clunky, full-mouth metal braces with bands and wires which were cemented to the front of the teeth. Now, depending on the extent of malocclusion, there may be alternative types of braces your teen can use instead. These different types of braces include:

  • Clear braces
  • Braces on the back of the teeth
  • Invisalign

While each one is used for the same purpose, these styles are different. For example, ceramic braces are considered more comfortable than wire braces. Wired braces can potentially rub against the gums and cause irritation.

Invisalign braces are clear retainers that can be removed for eating and cleaning. As treatment progresses, the retainers are swapped out for new ones as the teeth move into proper position. Treatment time with Invisalign will depend on the degree of correction and whether your teen is a suitable candidate.

How Long Do They Need to Wear Them?

The length of your teen’s treatment will depend on the amount of correction needed. Some teens only need to wear braces for a year whereas others might need up to four years of correction. How well your teen cares for their braces and follows the orthodontist’s instructions will also affect how long they require braces.

Are There Any Complications?

Experiencing complications with braces is rather rare, but they can happen. The most common complication includes tooth decay and periodontal disease. However, this is usually a direct result of improper cleaning than of the braces themselves. For this reason, proper oral hygiene needs to be done after every meal, in the morning, and before bed.

Knowing when to get your teen braces starts with an orthodontic examination. Talk with the orthodontist, and from there, you can make an educated decision as to when your teen should get their braces and what kind might be best for them.

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