Every parent wants what is best for their children, and this includes having great oral health and a beautiful smile. Unfortunately, it does not take much for your child’s smile to become overcrowded or their teeth to erupt in the wrong position.
Also referred to as malocclusion, the improper positioning of one’s permanent teeth can lead to a number of problems down the road. These are just a few of the reasons that you should take a fresh look at your teen’s orthodontic options include traditional metal braces and Invisalign.
The Importance of Treating Your Teen’s Malocclusion
Malocclusion is a serious oral health condition that must be treated as early as possible. Those that fail to treat their malocclusion will increase their risk of chipping their teeth and even developing a future speech impediment. When combined with the cosmetic issues of an uneven smile, it is no wonder that more patients than ever are taking a look at their options for reinventing their appearance.
Metal (and clear) braces have been used for decades and are one of the most effective options for straightening a smile. This process begins with a thorough inspection of the patient’s mouth to make sure that they are not suffering from any major oral health problems that will affect their treatment.
Ideally, children should begin meeting with the orthodontist when their adult teeth have started to erupt. By catching these issues early, the orthodontist will have a much more accurate idea of what is taking place and how to treat it.
The orthodontist will then “cement” posts to the patient’s teeth with a medical-grade adhesive. Once the adhesive has hardened, the posts are attached to one another with a wire and then tightened with a coil.
The time required to fully restore your teen’s smile will depend on the severity of their malocclusion. Some patients have their braces off in as little as a year while others may need them for three years or longer.
Invisalign is relatively new within the field of dentistry, but they have quickly become one of the most popular treatment options for malocclusion. Instead of using brackets and wires to apply pressure to the patient’s teeth, clear trays are worn throughout the day to “pull” the teeth back into their correct position.
Patients will receive a new pair of trays every few weeks as their teeth begin to shift. The two primary benefits of Invisalign are the ability to take them out at any time and the fact that they are nearly invisible once in the mouth.
Which is Right for My Teenager?
Invisalign can be incredibly effective, but your teenager must keep them in their mouth and stick to rigid oral hygiene habits. Teens that have severe malocclusion might need a blend of these two treatments in order to permanently restore their smile.
You and your child should meet with our orthodontist as early as possible to determine which treatment will suit your family’s needs. At Runnels Orthodontics, we have helped many patients with various oral health concerns. We welcome the opportunity to evaluate your child and develop the appropriate treatment plan to get that perfect smile your child deserves.