Why Would a Teen Need Braces? Breaking Things Down
Generally speaking, there are a lot of different reasons why a teen might need braces to correct certain types of teeth-related issues sooner rather than later. Remember that teen bodies are still very much a work in progress – they’re developing and changing in many different ways all the time. This is true of their jaw and teeth, too, and these processes could finalize in their late teens or even their early 20s depending on the person.
This continued development could potentially lead to a number of problems, including but not limited to ones like:
- A “crowded mouth.”
- Gaps between your teeth, which is essentially the opposite problem.
- An overbite, which is when the upper row of teeth totally overlap with the bottom row.
- An underbite, which is when the lower row of teeth totally overlap with the top row.
- An open bite, which is when the teeth don’t actually meet up when the mouth is closed.
- A crossbite, which is when both the top and bottom teeth experience moderate to severe alignment problems.
What Types of Braces Are Available?
Generally speaking, there are two main types of braces to choose from depending on your needs: metal braces and ceramic braces.
Metal braces are commonly seen as “traditional” braces, but they’ve come a long way in terms of both visual appearance and functionality in a short amount of time. They’re no longer the painful affairs of a time long gone – they’re more discreet than ever and they’ve grown quite comfortable, too.
If you really want to lean into the “discreet” side of the conversation, however, ceramic braces are likely what you’re looking for. As both are totally appropriate depending on the situation, it’s important to speak to your dentist to find out which one is right for you.
How do Braces Fit Into the Teen Lifestyle?
All told, braces probably won’t make much of a difference in the average teen’s lifestyle. There are, however, a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.
If you play sports, for example, you’re going to want to always wear a mouthguard to protect both the braces and your teeth themselves.
In terms of hygiene, teens are going to need to become virtually religious with regards to brushing and flossing. This is true for the entirety of the time they wear braces, regardless of how long that happens to be.
In terms of diet, there will be certain foods that teens will want to avoid. This includes but is not limited to popcorn, hard or sticky candy, foods that you need to bite into and similar options.
How Do You Care For Your Braces?
Caring for your braces isn’t necessarily difficult – but it will require you to practice care in certain areas.
When brushing your teeth, for example, be sure to brush and floss in between the brackets and the wires. This will go a long way towards avoiding the buildup of plaque, which can cause cavities if you’re not careful.
Likewise, be sure to make visits to your orthodontists on a regular basis. They can help make sure that everything is proceeding exactly as it should be and that no adjustments are needed. If changes must be made, they can be instituted quickly to avoid delaying the length of your braces.