Invest in Your Teen
The teen years (between the ages of 12 and 16) are the most common time for orthodontic treatment with Moffett & Walley Orthodontics because most permanent teeth will be in place.
Luckily, some new solutions work to make the treatment process much easier than ever before.
All About Teen Orthodontics
For many teens, braces are a rite of passage: They're one more example of the changes adolescents go through at this time - along with growth in stature, edgier tastes in clothes and music, and an increasing degree of self-awareness.
But is there any particular reason why orthodontic appliances and teenagers seem to go together? In a word: Yes.
Why Choose Orthodontics
There are several good reasons why adolescence is the optimal time for orthodontic treatment, though occasionally even earlier intervention is called for. One has to do with the development of the teeth.
There's no set timetable for every kid, but generally by the age of 11-13 the deciduous (baby) teeth have all been lost, and the permanent ones have largely come in. This is the time when we can go to work correcting the problems that cause a bad bite (malocclusion), improper tooth spacing or poor alignment.
Oral Issues Don't Solve Themselves
Orthodontic problems don't improve with age - they simply become harder to treat. It's easier to treat many orthodontic problems during adolescence because the body is still growing rapidly at this time.
Whether we use standard braces, or appliances like palatal expanders, we can create an improved appearance and function in a short period of time. In later years, when the bones of the face and jaw are fully developed, many conditions become more difficult (and costly) to treat.
Getting orthodontic treatment in adolescence can also have a social element. If you need braces, you're not alone! Chances are you'll see some of your classmates in our Clinton and Madison offices, and you may even make new friends as you go through the process together.
When it's done, you'll have a smile that you can really be proud of, and benefits that will last your whole life.
Benefits of a Straight Smile
Straight teeth that respond well to orthodontic treatment have many benefits, including:
- Being less prone to wear and tear, chipping, and tooth trauma
- Being easier to keep clean, helping to prevent tooth decay and cavities
- Reducing the chances of developing gum disease, which can result in bone loss, decay, and tooth loss
- Improving proper chewing and digestion of food
Choose Your Look
What can you expect when you come into our office for treatment? It all depends on what kind of treatment you need! The first time you come in, we will take pictures and radiographic (X-ray) images of your mouth, and possibly make a model of your bite.
Then, we'll develop a treatment plan. It may involve regular braces, with or without elastics (rubber bands). We might also recommend that you use a specialized appliance for a period of time.
Here are some of the most commonly used orthodontic appliances:
Metal Braces need no introduction. However, you might be surprised to find they're smaller and lighter than ever before! They even feature some customized options, like colored elastic ties on the brackets.
Clear braces feature brackets made of ceramic or composite materials which blend in with your teeth, making them harder to notice.
They're suitable in many situations, but they cost a little more and can slightly more fragile, so Dr. Moffett and Dr. Walley typically recommend them for older teen and adult patients.
Invisalign® for Teens
Invisalign for Teens features a series of removable, clear plastic trays that gradually straighten teeth as you wear them for the recommended 22 hours per day.
Formerly recommended only for adult patients, they now come with special features - like compliance indicators to tell how often you've been wearing them - that make them appropriate for teens in some situations. The advantage: they're practically invisible!
Make an Investment in Your Teen's Smile Today
Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your child's future. During your free consultation, Dr. Moffett and Dr. Walley will be happy to discuss the benefits of treatment as well as the risk of putting it off.
Although adults can successfully complete orthodontic treatment, a teen's jaws and teeth can respond quicker to orthodontic treatment, shortening their total treatment time.