From dating, preparing for junior and senior proms and playing sports, the last thing older teenagers want to worry about is getting braces.
”They’re like ‘I’m not wearing braces,”’ said Dr. M. Scott Runnels, an orthodontist with offices in Destin and Panama City Beach.
But Runnels said his practice is treating more and more older teens, ages 16 and up, and is one of the few in the Southeast that does.
While older teens may be reluctant to visit the orthodontist, Dr. Runnels and his staff can have teens smiling with healthy teeth and more confidence and self-esteem before they know it.
Some problems can be corrected in four to six months.
Doctor Runnels offers Invisalign Teen and Carriere Distalizer treatments that can help older teens and young adults look and feel better, with patients feeling less self-conscious and awkward than they would with traditional metal braces.
A study from the makers of Invisalign Teen found many teenagers’ self-esteem is related to how they look – specifically the appearance of their mouths and teeth.
The nationwide survey, called “Behind The Smile,” was performed by Kelton Research and found:
- More than 54 percent of teens said metal braces would make them feel more self conscious.
- Half of teens said they would not smile as much.
- Just four percent of teens said they would smile more frequently with metal braces.
- More than half, or 55 percent, of teens ages 15-17 would smile less with metal braces.
- More teen boys were concerned about the negative aspects of wearing metal braces. Girls also were concerned, but were more likely to see the positive long-term benefits.
The study confirmed what many teens and orthodontists know about self-esteem, social development and braces.
More than a third of teen respondents said teenagers with metal braces are teased about them. Nearly 25 percent of teens said metal braces lead to a decline in self-esteem. Just four percent of respondents believed metal braces allowed them to fit in better with fellow teens.
The Invisalign Teen study included 510 respondents between ages 12 and 17.
Invisalign Teen straightens teeth without metal braces, instead using a clear plastic that is nearly invisible. The device also allows you to eat better because it can be removed for meals. That feature also helps teens continue regular brushing and flossing.
For more information on Invisalign Teen, visit www.invisalignteen.com
Doctor Runnels uses Invisalign products on his young and older patients. After consulting with Dr. Runnels, patients have impressions of their teeth made and aligners are designed with teens and their hectic lives in mind.
So if you or your teenager think you need orthodontic work, but are afraid of unsightly braces and the social stigma braces can bring, contact Dr. Runnels and receive care that lets you live your life to the fullest.