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Orthodontics for Teens

Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment for Teens

Comprehensive treatment is initiated once most or all of the permanent teeth have emerged in the mouth. Typically, comprehensive treatment involves braces on both the upper and lower teeth. In select cases, Invisalign® may be used instead of braces. In adolescents, comprehensive orthodontic treatment combined aims to align the teeth, guide the growth and development of the jaws, and establish a proper bite. The right time to start treatment for your teen will depend on how many adult teeth have erupted, how they are growing, their individual orthodontic concerns and when is a good time from a social standpoint. Many parents are surprised at how keen their teenager is to commence treatment!

These are some of the specific goals of comprehensive treatment:

  • Improved self-confidence associated with a more attractive smile.
  • Improved function and comfort associated with a proper bite.
  • Ideal alignment to improve ability to clean teeth.
  • Less stress / strain on jaw joints (TMJs) and facial muscles.
  • Improved distribution of forces on the teeth which leads to less abnormal wear of tooth surfaces.

The length of comprehensive treatment depends on the severity of the problem. If the front teeth have minor crowding or spacing but the back teeth fit together properly, treatment may take as little as 9 - 12 months. By contrast, treatment to correct moderate to severe crowding or spacing or an improper bite typically takes between 18 - 24 months. In some cases, treatment may extend beyond 24 months.

FAQs – Orthodontics for Teens

No, Braces should not interfere with the way you speak or the sound of your voice. Certain appliances have a minor effect on your voice however the tongue gets conditioned to these appliances quickly and speech returns to normal after a few days.

There are plenty of reasons to get braces, the most important is that treatment is faster and more predictable when completed on a young and growing patient. Other factors include everyone you know has braces at your age so it's easier to be one of the crowd rather than dealing with it when you are older; your teeth usually get more crowded with age so if you think it's minor now, things will probably worsen and when you’re young your folks pay for it - they may not be as generous when you are older!

There are so many people out there with braces on that you'll just be one of the crowd. Brothers and sisters are the ones most likely to give you grief but they soon tire and get over it.

Braces are available in metal, usually surgical grade stainless steel and ceramic (the clear ones). Most of our patients will have clear braces on their top teeth. There are hundreds of different brace types on the market. You will be fitted with what we feel are the best brace available. Also remember that we may choose a different brace to what's on your mate because it suits your condition better.

On average, orthodontic treatment usually takes 18 - 24 months and other more complex cases may take longer to complete, simple cases less time. The total treatment time depends on a large number of factors which include the severity of the original bite problem, the type of treatment carried out, and the co-operation of the patient. Treatment that extends longer than originally planned is usually the result of poor patient compliance with appointments, oral hygiene or treatment. So the best way to get your treatment finished on time is to look after your braces and comply with your Orthodontist’s instructions!

Yes, you can play contact sports BUT you must ask us for a mouthguard.