Braces for Teens: Breaking Things Down

Having a beautiful smile and a correct bite is an important feature for teens that can definitely affect their confidence and self-esteem. These problems can absolutely continue to get worse as they get older, making it harder to keep teeth clean and healthy – which is why braces for teens are ultimately so important.

Some common issues that braces can correct include but are not limited to:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Gaps between teeth 
  • An overbite or “buck” teeth
  • Rotated and misaligned teeth

The overall length of treatment will obviously vary depending on the patient and the correction. Usually, most people wear traditional braces from anywhere between 12 to 24 months. Your orthodontist will go over all of this with you BEFORE treatment begins, making sure your teen knows exactly what to expect.

The Essential Things to Keep in Mind

Teens will need to practice proper oral hygiene for the duration of their treatment.  Most teens don’t find caring for their braces to be too cumbersome. Practice and a little patience cleaning around the braces is all that it takes to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy.

If your teen has an active lifestyle, braces won’t interfere with it in any way. If they play sports, however, they should wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth.

Types of foods your teen will want to avoid when wearing braces:

  • Hard foods, like hard pretzels, lollipops or hard candies.
  • Chewy foods, like beef jerky, pizza crust
  • Sticky foods, like bubble gum, taffy, Skittles, Starbursts
  • Foods that can get stuck in between the wires of the braces, like popcorn, corn on the cob and certain types of cereals would absolutely fall under this umbrella.

Finally, understand that making (and attending!) regular visits to our office is going to be essential to keep treatment on track and finish on time or even early.