Why Would a Teen Need Braces? Breaking Things Down
Generally speaking, there is a wide range of different reasons why a teenager might want to explore braces - but this has less to do with them being a teen and is more about the types of bite issues and other problems that can develop at literally any age.
These reasons include but are not limited to ones like:
- A "crowded mouth" where too many teeth are present.
- Gaps between teeth that are significant.
- An overbite, which is when the upper row of teeth totally overlaps with the bottom row.
- An underbite, which is when the lower row of teeth totally overlaps with the upper row.
- An open bite, which is when the teeth don't actually meet properly when the mouth is closed.
- A crossbite, which is when both the type and bottom rows of teeth have their own unique sets of alignment problems.
Luckily, regardless of the specific issues that a teen happens to have, braces can be a great way to take care of every single one of them.
The Types of Braces That Are Available
Traditional metal braces use a metal bracket and wire to gently "pull" your teeth into the desired position over time. Traditional ceramic braces operate using essentially the same principle, but they're constructed out of a different type of material.
One alternative option is Damon® Smiles Braces, which come in both metal and clear varieties for you to choose from depending on your needs. These are passive, self-ligating braces that totally eliminate the need for metal or elastic ties altogether. You get the same exceptional treatment of traditional braces without all of the tightening that normally comes with it.
Braces and the Teen Lifestyle: An Overview
Typically, braces won't really interfere with a teen's lifestyle in any appreciable way - even an active one. They will, however, have to be careful in a few major areas.
When playing sports, a mouth guard is ALWAYS needed to protect your teeth - no exceptions. Likewise, teens must be religious about brushing, flossing, and all other proper oral hygiene techniques.
While the list of dietary restrictions one must adhere to when going through braces treatment isn't necessarily long, it is very precise. For the best results, avoid the following types of foods:
- Any hard or sticky candy. Think caramels, rock candy, chewing gum and things of that nature.
- Any foods that you need to "bite" into, like apples or hard pretzels.
- Any food that could potentially get stuck in between the brackets and wires, like corn on the cob.
Caring for Your Braces
Typically, most people don't find caring for their braces to be that difficult or restrictive in any way. There are, however, a number of important things you'll want to keep in mind.
For starters, while brushing and flossing has always been important, it is especially so now. You'll want to do both in between both the brackets AND the wires to avoid a buildup of plaque, cavities, and related issues. You'll also want to make regular visits to your orthodontist to make sure that treatment is coming along exactly as everyone expects it to.