It’s clear that we’re all living in the age of information right now. Anything you might want to know is available literally at your fingertips; all you need is a smart phone and the internet. Despite this wealth of information, we find a lot of our patients (especially teens) have similar questions when they come in for an orthodontic consultation. Of course we’re always happy to answer their questions, but we thought it could be helpful to put some of this info in writing. That’s what motivated us to write this blog highlighting the 5 most common orthodontic questions among teens.
Do I Have To Get Braces?
It’s important to keep in mind that any orthodontic treatment is always first and foremost up to the patient and their parents. However, it’s important to remember that getting braces is about a lot more than just building a nice smile. They’re also intended to improve your oral health so that you can avoid cavities and other serious tooth and gum problems down the road. Even though your teen may not be thrilled about getting braces, treatment at this stage will be worth it in the long run.
How Long Will I Have To Wear Braces?
This is perhaps the most common question among children and young adults. It’s also the most difficult one for us to answer in general terms. Every patient is different and will receive a personal orthodontic correction plan based on their needs. The length of treatment will also depend on what type straightening appliance is used and how tightly you follow your orthodontist’s instructions. With that said, the average length of an orthodontic treatment for our patients in Buffalo is around 18 months.
Do I Have To Get Metal Braces?
No! Though traditional metal brackets used to be the only option on the market, that is no longer the case. Orthodontic technology has made some major improvements in the last couple of decades. Here’s a short list of the most popular types of metal braces alternatives.
- Ceramic Braces: They work the same as the metal ones but are made to blend in with your teeth. If your teen is feeling self conscious about getting braces, these may be able to help.
- Incognito Braces: This is another option that works the same traditional braces. The catch is that they’re positioned behind the teeth so that nobody but you will know they’re there.
- Invisalign: These clear plastic aligners are becoming more and more popular because of their convenience. Not only will they be hard to notice, but they are removable which makes eating and teeth maintenance a breeze.
What Restrictions Will I Have With Braces?
It’s no secret that eating and braces don’t always go hand in hand. The purpose for restricting certain foods is to avoid damaging your braces so that can do what they need to. Avoiding eating any foods that are hard or sticky is a general rule thumb but your orthodontist near you will give you a more specific list. It’s also possible that you may have to avoid certain contact sports to make sure that you don’t damage your braces or your mouth.
Do I Have To Wear My Retainer?
This one is a doozy. Most patients are so excited when they get their braces removed that forget to be diligent about their retainer in the aftermath. To put it simply, retainers need to be worn as instructed! Failure to do so can result in your teeth moving back to their original positions. It would truly be a pity if your teen had to have another round of orthodontic treatment because they were a little too lax with wearing their retainer.