Orthodontic treatment for teenagers
The teenage years are one of the most common times when braces are required. Unfortunately, this tends to coincide with the time of life when teenage patients are at their most self-conscious.
There are several good reasons why adolescence is the optimal time for orthodontic treatment, though occasionally even earlier intervention is called for. Orthodontic treatment for adolescents and teens is focused on providing beautiful healthy smiles for life. Most comprehensive orthodontic treatment starts in the early teen years (11-15), when the last baby teeth are close to being lost and the children are growing rapidly. This is when it is easiest to spot issues like crooked teeth, gaps and bad bites.
Starting at this time allows us to provide the best treatment for every patient and also potentially reduce the overall length of treatment, as in the teenage years growth and development is still underway and there is an opportunity to 'shape' how the teeth align.
Having orthodontic treatment as a teenager is also about having some fun with braces. Our patients can chose colours to match their favourite outfit, support their sporting team or just because they look great! For those who don’t want the typical appearance of metal braces, there is also the option of tooth coloured brackets.
What does teenage treatment involve?
Orthodontic treatment is usually started once most of the permanent teeth have emerged. For teenagers, it is important comprehensive orthodontic treatment is combined with jaw orthopaedics to align the teeth, guide the growth and development of the jaws, and establish a proper bite.
How long does treatment take?
The length of orthodontic treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Typically, orthodontic treatment with braces will take between 12 and 24 months. During this time, all sports can be played with braces although a mouthguard is recommended. Musical instruments can also be played whilst wearing braces.
Benefits of orthodontic treatment
Some of the benefits our teenage patients can look forward to from orthodontic treatment include:
- Improved self-confidence associated with a more attractive smile
- Improved function and comfort associated with a proper bite
- Ideal alignment to improve cleansibility of the teeth
- Less stress / strain on jaw joints (TMJ) and facial muscles
- Improved distribution of forces on the teeth which leads to less abnormal wear of tooth surfaces