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Portrait of a happy teen girl with braces and some acne smiling at home with the sun coming through the window

Dental braces have come a long way since they were invented in the 1800’s. Today, Americans and residents of are privy to a bevy of tooth-straightening options, each of which offers different benefits. Currently, the most popular types of braces used in include:

  • Metal Braces – Modern metal braces are sleeker, smaller, and more comfortable than ever before. Many teens choose to personalize and add some fun to their braces with color bands. Change the color bands to fit your current style or mood. Simply choose your colors at each orthodontic visit, every 4 to 6 weeks. Which colors you pick and how you arrange them are completely up to you.
  • Clear Ceramic Braces – For teens who prefer braces but not so much the look, clear braces are the way to go. Ceramic braces work like metal braces and get very similar results. Instead of metal, the orthodontist puts ceramic brackets on the teeth. At a glance, your friends may not even know that you are wearing braces since the color blends right in with your teeth.
  • Invisalign – Invisalign has grown in popularity among teens. Invisalign Teen includes sets of plastic retainer-like aligners that you pop into your mouth every two weeks. This means fewer trips to the orthodontist for you (typically once every six weeks) an added bonus for the busy teen. Unlike traditional metal braces, with Invisalign Teen Aligners, you can still eat and drink as you would without them. To clean them, you just easily remove them and follow the instructions given by your orthodontist. Teenagers find Invisalign Teen Aligners more comfortable than traditional metal braces because you don’t have the discomfort of metal wires or brackets causing abrasions in your mouth.

Did you know…

that you do not have to have crooked teeth to benefit from braces? Even patients with a little bit of crowding can benefit from orthodontic treatment. When the teeth are properly aligned, patients can better clean between the teeth, preventing decay and gum disease. Furthermore, teeth that are optimally aligned can help remedy malocclusion complications, such as headaches

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need braces?

Only you and your dentist can determine whether braces are right for you. However, chances are you could benefit from treatment if your teeth are crooked, overlapping or protruding. Schedule an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist for more information.

What should I expect while I have braces?

You will have certain dietary restrictions with most types of braces except Invisalign. Some foods, such as hard, sticky and chewy foods, can have an adverse effect on braces and damage the brackets and wires. You will also need to make frequent office visits to have wires tightened. If you have Invisalign, there are no dietary restrictions, as the orthodontic trays are fully removable when eating. You’ll also be able to switch to a new Invisalign tray every few weeks without visiting your dentist.

What happens when my orthodontic treatment is complete?

Your child’s first orthodontic screening will include a visual examination as well as maxillofacial x-rays. Your child’s orthodontist may also ask you questions about your child’s habits, such as thumb and finger-sucking. Based on the results of this analysis, the orthodontist will discuss options and timeframes for treatment if applicable.

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