Orthodontic Options For Your Teen

If your teen has crooked teeth, you may have already decided to have the misalignment corrected. A child's teeth may align improperly from prolonged pacifier usage, thumb sucking, or heredity. 

Once the permanent teeth are in an incorrect configuration, an orthodontic correction is needed to reposition them. Here are a few orthodontic applications that can be used to straighten your teen's teeth.

Plastic Aligners

Plastic aligners, as the name suggests, align the teeth. Each aligner is a retainer-like mouth tray that is made of transparent, rigid plastic.  The aligners are produced from a mold of your teen's oral cavity and digital images of the mouth. The treatment process uses a number of aligner sets to straighten the teeth. 

Each set is used for a few weeks and then replaced by the next consecutive set in the alignment plan. To be effective, the sets must be worn for the majority of the day. Nevertheless, they can be removed to make it easier for your teen to clean their teeth or eat. The clear plastic aligners are most appropriate for teens who do not have a severe dental misalignment. Thus, they are often prescribed for moderate and mild alignment issues.

Lingual Braces

Unlike clear aligners, lingual braces can be used to correct mild to severe dental misalignments. The brackets of these specialized braces are placed on the side of the teeth that is nearest to the tongue. Due to their positioning, lingual braces offer teens a discreet option for straightening their teeth. The braces are hidden from view since they do not rest on the front of their teeth.

In addition to added discretion, lingual braces offer additional benefits for kids who are active in music or sports. Teens who play wind instruments can blow into a mouthpiece without needing to awkwardly reposition their lips to compensate for bulky braces on the front of their teeth. Also, teenagers who play contact sports can avoid significant lip injuries, since the inner lips won't get snagged on brackets and archwires if a blow to the mouth occurs during play.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are still valid options for teens with misaligned teeth. Although the conventional metal appliance may be noticeable in the mouth, the braces straighten the teeth effectively, even if the misalignment is extensive. For teens who chose traditional braces but prefer a more discreet appliance, clear braces can be applied. The clear braces are simply traditional braces with brackets that are made of clear ceramic material.

For more orthodontic options for your teen, schedule a consultation with your local orthodontists services.